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Off-centre – a call for humble lessons for design: how can metadesign perspectives support education in design for sustainability?
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design. Goldsmiths, University of London.
2014 (English)In: Design with the other 90%: Cumulus Johannesburg Conference Proceedings / [ed] Amanda Breytenbach and Kathryn Pope, Johannesburg: Greenside Design Center and the University of Johannesburg , 2014, 329-335 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper uses the notion of ‘off-centredness’ to highlight and critique a North Western conceit, hegemony and anthropocentric worldview, and an interwoven dominant construction of sustainability as ‘other’. It argues that while this generally is detrimental to social and natural systems, it also has repercussions on the specific context of education for design for sustainability. The paper proposes that pedagogy in this remit can be enriched by the positioning of ourselves - as educators and students - as humble co-learners. It offers a tentative pedagogical framework - ‘from me to we’ and from ‘product to paradigm’. This has the purpose of supporting co-learners to, from a deep understanding of, and connection with self and place, and engagement with design as physical object, form understandings of and meaningful relationships with the world as a whole. This should help enable co-learners to find agency as civilians and designers to contribute to futures of sustainability. The research has twinned applications. It informs the curricula of two new degree programmes in design at Linnaeus University, Sweden. It will result in a web-based learning resource open for general use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Johannesburg: Greenside Design Center and the University of Johannesburg , 2014. 329-335 p.
Keyword [en]
Metadesign, Shared learning, Co-learners, Paradigm shift, Extended epistemologies, Eco-literacy, Futures of sustainability
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40241ISBN: 978-0-620-60373-7OAI: diva2:789381
Cumulus Johannesburg, Designing with the other 90%: changing the World by design, Johannesburg, South Africa, September 22-24, 2014
Available from: 2015-02-18 Created: 2015-02-18 Last updated: 2015-03-05Bibliographically approved

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Tham, Mathilda
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