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

Learning together: re-mapping the Human through Sensory Cartography as Tools of Integration

This paper describes a PhD work-in-progress perspective of sensory cartography as a method; body mapping as an embodied and embedded process aligns with the dismantling and reassembling conference theme. I do not look at the designed objects but the worldview and lives of those who make and change things and the implications on the structures of living. Unlike conventional maps, geographical structures representing specific knowledge(s), and power relations, this study embraces an alternative mapping. Life stories told through participant bodies; situated perspectives of a small group of globally mobile designers. Theirs are hybrid positions, inter-epistemic movements that understand how to integrate worlds. Seen in this light, the sensory cartography is an approach for knowledge translation and exchange that deconstructs Cartesian dualisms that form the basis of Western knowledge systems. Body mapping is an attunement tool that positions the body as the site of power and resistance and, within its process, facilitates ways through which to learn how to re-inhabit the human (de la Cadena, 2019). A method for engaging the senses for listening deeply to ourselves, and each other, for the sake of equal opportunity, sustainability, well-being, quality of life and meaningfulness.

keywords; sensuous body mapping; material participation; hybrid; Global South

About Britta Boyer

Britta Boyer is a final year doctoral researcher; fundamental to Britta’s worldview is that she self-identifies as an immigrant, never living in her birthplace, Dallas (USA) and growing up across three continents. Creative practice led to working across various geographical locations, mostly Bali for almost 20 years as well as living in Indonesia as a child. Britta’s work is interdisciplinary and integrates qualitative and sensory ethnographic approaches, through design anthropology, that explore non-exploitative human development through creativity and the storied nature of human activity. The overarching argument of the thesis is a deconstruction of the Cartesian dualisms that form the basis of Western knowledge systems. This is approached from a decolonial position, building a unique stance within decolonial theory from the position of hybridity and transient communities.

Supervisors: Mikko Koria, Laura Santamaria and Amalia Sabiescu

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