Service Design Melbourne

Design & Ethics #2 2019: Preparing to design with Indigenous peoples

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Design and Ethics is a series of events hosted by Service Design Melbourne to come together and build capacities around ethical issues. This event was kindly hosted by Yoko Akama (RMIT) and Kyreena Hay at Australian Super in March 2019.

This intimate gathering picks up on questions and discussions in the #designandethics channel regarding what kinds of care and consideration is needed when working with Indigenous peoples. This event is for, and was about, non-Indigenous people and the work needed to build capacities and prepare ways to design with Indigenous peoples with more care and consideration as we move towards Treaty. This slow, careful dialogue explored different but resonant concerns and challenges shared in candid and reflective ways.

The gathering was facilitated by non-Indigenous researchers and designers with a range of experiences of working with various Indigenous peoples. It welcomed all levels of experience to be a safe space, free of judgement, to enable participants to ask any questions, no matter ‘trivial’ it may seem.

We hope this gathering is only the middle of on-going conversations that we can all continue to have in our work and play as we continue living in Australia.

Here are some resources that may be of interest:

Closer to home:
• Koorie Heritage Trust run excellent programs on cultural education and professional development

• Take a tour at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre Melbourne Museum

• Bruce Pascoe’s compelling talk

First Australian series by SBS

Indigenous Australia for Dummies by Larissa Behrendt

Specific to design:
Australian Indigenous Design Charter

Social Design Toolkit

Designing with Indigenous Nations Studio

A Cheat sheet for Non(or Less-) Colonialist Speculative Design

• A design framework for self-determination by Design Managers Australia

• Kelly, M., & Kennedy, R. (2016). Recognizing Appropriate Representation of Indigenous Knowledge in Design Practice. Visible Language, 50(1), 153–173.

7 Things You Can Do To Make Your Art Less Racist – A comprehensive How-To-Guide by Sandrine Micossé-Aikins

A list of questions by Melisa A, “On semi-hiatus” Member of Nisga’a Nation. Wips Wisen Xbil’tkw.

Black Chicks Talking

On Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing:
• Wilson, S. (2008). Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods. Black Point, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing.

• Sheehan, N. W. (2011). Indigenous Knowledge and Respectful Design: An Evidence-Based Approach. Design Issues, 27(4), 68–80.

• G. Worby & L.-I. Rigney (2006). Sharing spaces : Indigenous and non-indigenous responses to story, country and rights, Perth: API Network.


Image by Signe Stjarnqvist, created for Designing with Indigenous Nations studio, RMIT University

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