Ecologies of Participation Design Practices for Resignifying Territories
Alzate Mora, Catalina
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This MFA thesis engages the question of participation in design, and the question of technology in participation through theoretical and material explorations. The departure point is a critical instance towards design practices, inspired by contemporary theories in the field, and a review of feminist methodologies and frameworks for action-research. Key concepts such as participation, reflexivity, collaboration and mediation were explored through three workshops, conducted between June 2020 and March 2021. The first workshop engaged reflexivity and positionality in participatory design through the crafting of a collective accordion book. The second workshop engaged participants in crafting mental cartographies of the territories they occupy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the third workshop provided a space to question the authority of maps during the colonization of the American continent. Participants intervened the map where America was first named, which later became a single exhibition piece. As a connecting device, the notion of ‘territory’ is explored to refer to common areas of intellectual interest among design practitioners, as well as physical and bodily spaces. This thesis proposes frameworks and pedagogies for exploring such territories from a design lens, applying the learnings from theories in critical making, critical design and feminism. As an articulation piece, the insights and documentation of the research and workshops can be found in the design research blog: https://medium.com/laboratorio-de-mundos.