Introducing Relationality to Design Research
Looking into the power dynamics and oppressive systems of conflict-affected spaces requires different ways of setting up a design process. This study narrates the experience of going into the field and running two co-design sessions in conflict-affected areas, one with favelados (favela residents) of different communities from Rio de Janeiro and another with the Awaete people, from an Indigenous village in the heart of the Amazon Forest. Both cases show the use of Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies inspired the relational quality in their processes, connected to 1) the idea that knowledge is part of the relationships between us and cannot be owned; 2) the relational accountability methodology is based on a relationship with the community established by respect, reciprocity and responsibility.
Co-design; relationality; Indigenous knowledge; decolonized
Jananda Lima has a master’s degree in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University. Her research in social innovation involves fieldwork in different marginalized communities. As a futures designer, she focuses on reclaiming design for world-making otherwise, exploring decolonized futures. Jananda is the co-founder of the Medio Xingu Observatory, which proposes a partnership between indigenous and academic knowledges, using cartography as a tool for generating data and counter-narratives of ways of being. Currently, Jananda is a Graduate Research Assistant at Carleton University and at Wapatah: Centre For Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University.