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The virtual un-conference Pivot 2020 invited participants to consider how to design a ‘world of many centers and voices.’ In this forum, the aim was to pivot the discussion around decolonization from a critical perspective to a creative and generative one. The efforts to dismantle structures of oppression and hegemonic narratives have to be coupled with efforts to design otherwise and generate a different world. To refer to this world, the conference adopted the concept of the Pluriverse, proposed by Arturo Escobar (2018), which refers to a “world where many worlds fit”, in contrast to the “universal” single world generated by coloniality/modernity. Within the single world worldview, Western Europe and, subsequently, North America have been viewed as the main focus of what is good, innovative and desirable—namely The Center. The rest of the world, and its countless cultures, ways of knowing and ways of designing, have been peripheral to the main narrative of the world. Currently, as the movement to decolonize design gains strength, stages of the Center have been featuring more diverse voices, starting to include people who have been excluded from the main narrative of design. The purpose, however, of a radical design practice is not to fix the Center, but to help to create a world with multiple centers, in which many realities can co-exist. Therefore the following questions were asked at the conference: What does a world in which many worlds fit look like? What is needed to create this reality? Who is needed to support this change?
Design Research Society
Leitão, R. M., Noel, L., and Murphy, L. (eds.) (2020) Proceedings of Pivot 2020: Designing a world of many centers, 4 June, London, United Kingdom, Design Research Society. https://dl.designresearchsociety.org/conference-volumes/37
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