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Sept 25, 2023

Discussion: Decolonizing Design with Dori Tunstall

RGD Book Club Decolonizing Design by Elizabeth Dori Tunstall

About this video


Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook by Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall is a deep dive that explores the significance of decolonization within the design sector. ​​A leading figure in the movement to decolonize design, Dori Tunstall uses hard-hitting real-life examples and case studies drawn from over fifteen years of working to transform institutions to better reflect the lived experiences of Indigenous, Black, and People of Color communities.Through her use of lived experiences, graphics and charts, along with end of chapter takeaways, Dori takes readers on a journey of understanding and ways to action decolonization efforts in our own lives.

The RGD's Book Club came together in our fifth meeting to chat with Dori, asking questions about her time as Dean at OCAD University, where she worked to successfully develop Indigenous and Black cluster hires.

During our breakout rooms, participants engaged in insightful conversations about the various colour stories presented in the book. They shared their reflections; understanding when to take a step back and cease power in the design process to allow for additional input and context, how design has the power to bring everyone together and how we can transform the way we imagine and remake the world, replacing pain and repression with equity, inclusion, and diversity. The discussions added another layer to the understanding of the book and members connected over making safe spaces and a few actionable items for the group surfaced.

As designers, it is imperative we start and continue to interweave our lived experiences with extensive research to learn what decolonizing design means, how it heals, and how to practice it. Doing this can show us how to realize the infinite possibilities that decolonized design represents.