What Designers Can Learn from Indigenous Communities Fighting Climate Change by: Anoushka Khandwala
Anoushka Khandwala – London graphic designer, illustrator and writer; recently graduated from Central Saint Martins with a BA in Graphic Design. Passionate about pursuing diversity in the creative industry through empowering minorities, as well as decolonising our way of thinking about design. AIGA featured writer.
The article highlights the role design plays in the encouragement of endless consumption and its destructive consequences; designers being uniquely complicit in a system that is constantly producing and consuming. If the actions that seek to mitigate the impacts of climate change continue to prioritize free-market values, they have the potential to harm not only the Earth but the millions of people who will be displaced by effects of the climate crisis.By decolonizing our understanding of climate action, Examines the disproportionate amount of public attention given to organizations who often don’t give credit to the Indigenous movements that have long been on the frontlines of these movements. This article is an interview of three “creative practitioners who use design as a tool to highlight the relationship of indigenous peoples and the land.” Julia Watson, author of Lo-TEK: Designed by Radical Indigenism, which examines traditional ecological knowledge from different communities around the globe and how that might be the next generation of thinking for sustainable design. Knee Benally of the Navajo nation, member of Indigenous Action, is an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist agitator and uses design to propagandize; while Demian DinéTazhi’, founder of Radical Indigenance Survivance and Empowerment (R.I.S.E.), uses their art to platform voices of Indigenous descent. Although playing different roles, these voices unify to demand change through a subversion of hetero-patriarchal colonial power structures, emphasizing design as a way in which to manifest these principles.
Khandwala, Anoushka. “What Designers Can Learn from Indigenous Communities Fighting Climate Change.” Eye on Design, 15 Dec. 2020, eyeondesign.aiga.org/what-designers-can-learn-from-indigenous-communities-fighting-climate-change/.