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

Staying Diasporic: Centering migrant and diasporic ways of being in design

Migration and diaspora are phenomenons that are continuously shaping the world, and that are caused and informed by colonial structures. The communities in diaspora are held together by particular ways of imagining and relating with the homeland, the host culture, and themselves, touching back into the local. In the experience of migrating and becoming part of a diaspora, our identities shift, as we enter a state of tension between total assimilation and resistance, questioning our national hegemonic values and ways of being. As a designer with migrated roots, I would like to share some experiences and thoughts about working in codesign processes with migrant communities: How do we matter our worlds from a diasporic situatedness, and what does this mean in terms of encouraging decolonial processes in design? What is the impact of digital tools and virtual settings? Which strategies might help us challenging our assumptions as designers? Ultimately, I want to continue conversations about the role of design into materialising dissent and contestation towards the hegemonic systems, centering migrant and diasporic ways of being. How can these reflections inspire us for future practices in design?

migration and diaspora; decolonial design; social design; codesign 


About Yénika Castillo Muñoz

Yénika Castillo Muñoz is an independent designer, scholar and activist. Her work explores the intersections of Design, decolonial theories and activism, finding inspiration on Mexican and Latin American knowledge, culture and ways of being. She is mostly interested in interaction design from a place of collective creation and relationality, encouraging horizontal collaborations in a frame of human rights and  within planetary boundaries. She parts from her own migration experience to connect to others, to reflect upon the role of designers to kick off creative processes from below to shift paradigms. She is on a personal journey of decolonising her own upbringing in a catholic home, as a straight, middle-class mestiza in Central Mexico, assuming as well her diasporic identity as a person of color in Scandinavia.


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