Pivot 2021 Virtual Conference July 22-23 2021
Dismantling Reassembling - tools for alternative futures

Being Co-conspirators

We live in a multidimensional pluralist world, where colonial, structuralist and industrial approaches of moulding a mind need to be questioned. Perhaps our modern educational system needs to forgo moulding a student and instead insist on developing the potential of a learner. India has long had the traditional approach of rearing a mind which is not bogged down by generalised standards. Despite this legacy, popularised design education here, is a borrowed version from ideologies of the West. The authors of this paper questioned their adopted roles as design facilitators, and conducted a social experiment to decentralise ownership of material and thought. Titled, ‘Power of space’, the experiment was an attempt at creating a series of unstructured dialogues hosted in spaces with apparent pluriverses.By shedding the rigid perception of their identities and merely being the catalyst for eliciting ideas, the scope for embracing vulnerability, humanising the interactions to being co-conspirators over administrators, and exploiting the ideas of de-tooling within educational experiences emerged. The paper collates the learnings and premise of the above experiment. Having met with multiple challenges, there were astute observations which were applicable at scale and could truly help decolonize the approach to the idea of educat-ing itself.

Keywords: detooling; decolonise; co-conspirators; social experiment

About Mudita Pasari and Prachi Joshi

Mudita Pasari As a designer, I largely work with educational systems and designed visual interventions through decentralized museological experiences. Working with various educational organisations, I am often involved in developing pedagogical models and effective mediums of awareness, action and learning. My ongoing research is around breaking inherited dichotomies, and pushing the boundaries of what we assume is known, making space for a true multidimensional existence. I am currently the Associate Dean of Academics at an upcoming design school in India called The Design Village, where a manifestation independent pedagogical model is encouraged and practiced. I run a small design studio, Kiviuq, which has a practice embedded in advocating bio diverse habitation, formed at the cross-section of human interaction and other ecological components in our immediate environments. My formal undergraduate training is in Exhibition + Spatial Design from the National Institute of Design, India and my Masters is in Art + Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design, RI.

Prachi Joshi I am a designer and provocateur, whose practice and  inquiry and sense of self have been shaped by deconstructing identity politics sustained through different systems of power (knowledge, space and medium) and meaning-making. Having lived in multiple geographies and cultures, I am irked by the concept of ‘universality’– implying a colonial hangover, and rigid, singular narratives. Through my work and social experiences, I explore modes of interaction and critical discourse to challenge these ideas and create places of equity and polyphony. I hold a Master’s in Narrative Environments from Central Saint Martins, London; and a self-styled master’s in polemics from the school of speculative life.

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