Abstract

This paper responds to the call to move away from the centre and to design from many centres. We need to address cultural colonisation and systemisation; to counter misdirection and deceit in order to reveal – not merely the ‘centre’ but the ‘systems of the underside’: structures and systems that arise in the past and which continue to “cloud our eyes” in graphic design communication. Inspired by the works of Walter Mignolo, Arturo Escobar and Boaventura de Souza Santos, which expose the ‘systems of the underside’ and the notion of ‘ecologies of knowledge’ in order to disentangle (and free) or unlink these epistemologies that get lost in western-modes of representation; and by the calls from commentators such as Tony Fry and Donna Haraway who observe that the idea of universality remains blinkered by its own artifice and only serve to create others as its subjects, this paper interrogates cartography and typography as graphic representations of cultural systems and their consequent impacts in the construction of an epistemology for the new, colonised world. Through this critique and unveiling, we follow some story lines in order to reveal the ways that lines create an iron cage. We hope to find, perhaps even create, fractures in the systems and opportunities for pluriverses.

Keywords

Designs for the pluriverse; systems; cartography; typography

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 4th, 12:00 AM

Worlds and words: interrogating type and map as systems of power and embodied meaning-making

This paper responds to the call to move away from the centre and to design from many centres. We need to address cultural colonisation and systemisation; to counter misdirection and deceit in order to reveal – not merely the ‘centre’ but the ‘systems of the underside’: structures and systems that arise in the past and which continue to “cloud our eyes” in graphic design communication. Inspired by the works of Walter Mignolo, Arturo Escobar and Boaventura de Souza Santos, which expose the ‘systems of the underside’ and the notion of ‘ecologies of knowledge’ in order to disentangle (and free) or unlink these epistemologies that get lost in western-modes of representation; and by the calls from commentators such as Tony Fry and Donna Haraway who observe that the idea of universality remains blinkered by its own artifice and only serve to create others as its subjects, this paper interrogates cartography and typography as graphic representations of cultural systems and their consequent impacts in the construction of an epistemology for the new, colonised world. Through this critique and unveiling, we follow some story lines in order to reveal the ways that lines create an iron cage. We hope to find, perhaps even create, fractures in the systems and opportunities for pluriverses.

 

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