In this interactive talk-shop, Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel will share elements of the design and pedagogical journeys that ground her focus on decolonial, liberatory, anti-oppressive, and anti-hegemonic design education, research, and practice. This philosophical grounding has led to the creation of design tools such as the Designer's Critical Alphabet and the Positionality Wheel, both of which aim to help designers engage with difference. She will share these and other projects that have been undertaken with this philosophy. Finally, she will lead participants through several activities, including a future-focused brainstorming activity that will use the Critical Utopian Action research method, a method that she has been using since 2017.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Lead a team reflection about group identity, and how this could impact their work
- Apply critical theory-based questions to their design practice
- Recognize exclusion in design, leading to more inclusive design
- Use Critical Utopian Action Research to lead a group brainstorming activity
Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel is Associate Director for Design Thinking for Social Impact and Professor of Practice at the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane University, Louisiana. In her teaching and research, she draws on the fields of design, anthropology, business, and education. Her work focuses on emancipatory and critical design thinking and design methods, on the experiences of people who are often excluded from research, and on building greater critical awareness among designers and design students. Her current research is situated in the fields of civic innovation, social innovation, and public health.