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

Laboratorio Ancestral: Diseño participativo y sabidurías Kichwas en la amazonia de Ecuador

This article to be presented at PIVOT 2021 investigates the issue of linear vs. circular time, and seeks to answer the question: How would thinking about the future change if we were to adopt a perspective that embraces ancestral knowledge? To answer this question, the first part of the article addresses the importance of revitalizing ancestral knowledge of indigenous peoples and nationalities in Ecuador. This problem is presented considering the context of the current uniformity of public educational programs that have led to the assimilation of indigenous peoples to occidental cultures. An alternative to this existing educational model is presented in order to revitalize this ancestral knowledge, which is guided by Andean philosophy and the notion of Corazonar (Guerrero: 2010), developed by the Ecuadorian anthropologist Patricio Guerrero Arias.  The second part of this study describes fieldwork conducted with a group of high school students from the Kichwa community of Rukullakta, Ecuador (2018). This experience is based on a previous study carried out in the Mayan community of X-Yatil, Mexico (2015), which consisted of workshops that resulted in the co-design of a community game about local plants and an activity guide, which was created for the participatory design workshop. Following the creation of this guide, an Ancestral Lab (Ecuador, 2018) was developed, which applied concepts, models and practices of participatory design, co-design, popular education, action research and educational games. Finally, this article presents the tools co-designed by the participants based on their interest to revitalize ancestral knowledge.


Social and participatory design; popular education; ancestral knowledge; decolonization

About Lucía Garcés Dávila

Lucía Garcés Dávila (she/her) is a Ecuadorian graphic and industrial designer, interested in researching social and participatory design and their links with popular culture, intercultural interaction and education. Instructor of visual communication at the undergraduate level. Coordinator and facilitator of the participatory design project jugandomuuch.com, which focused in the revitalization of ancestral knowledge among the co-design process with young people from indigenous communities from Ecuador and Mexico. Her background combined the educational material design and cultural literacy programs developed in rural areas of Ecuador. BA in graphic and services design from PUCE, Graduate degree in Industrial design from the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Editorial Studies from the Complutense University of Madrid.


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