South-South Dialogues around Buen Vivir-Centric Design

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Diana Albarrán González
Angus Donald Campbell


Using a dialogic methodology, in this article we discuss our doctoral research experiences and positionalities in two different contexts from the Global South, working with historically marginalized communities. The first voice, originating in Mexico, explored decolonizing design and Mayan textile knowledges in collaboration with a women-led collective in the highlands of Chiapas. The second voice, which originated in South Africa, collaboratively explored technological innovation by small-scale urban farmers. The dialogue reflects on uno con el todo, colectividad, resource(ful), pluriversal, and equilibrium as Buen Vivir- Centric design guiding principles to reflect on our studies. We discuss the learnings and transformations in our design research from dominant approaches towards Indigenous and endogenous ways of knowing, being, and making.


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Albarrán González, D., & Campbell, A. D. (2022). South-South Dialogues around Buen Vivir-Centric Design. Diseña, (21), Article.4.
Original articles
Author Biographies

Diana Albarrán González, University of Auckland

Ph.D. in Māori and Indigenous Development, Auckland University of Technology. After gra­duating with a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, she earned a Master´s degree in Design Management from Universitat Politècnica de València. She is a Native Latin American researcher from Mexico, a mestiza of Nahua and P’urhepecha descent seeking to decolonize her own subjectivities and (re)connect with Indigeneity. As a researcher and practitioner, she is interested in Buen Vivir-Centric design, dignity, collective well-being, textiles, crafts, embodiment, and creativity. She is the Director of Undergraduate Design from the Creative Arts and Industry faculty at the University of Auckland/ Waipapa Taumata Rau. Some of her latest publications include ‘Corazonar: Weaving Values into the Heart of Design Research’ (PDC 2022, Vol. 2); ‘Sjalel Lekil Kuxlejal: Mayan Weaving and Zapatismo in Design Research’ (with Taller Malacate, In Pivot Conference Proceedings 2021: Dismantling / Reassembling); and ‘Towards a Buen Vivir-Centric Design: Decolonising Artisanal Design with Mayan Weavers from the Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico’ (Ph.D. thesis, Auckland University of Technology).

Angus Donald Campbell, University of Auckland

Ph.D. in Development Studies, University of Johannesburg. He holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Design and a Bachelor of Technology degree from Technikon Witwatersrand. He is the Director of Design and Deputy Head of School at Elam School of Fine Arts & Design/Te Waka Tūhura, University of Auckland/Waipapa Taumata Rau. His university lecturing, practice-based research, and freelance design experience are focused on local and sustainable innovation at the complex nexus of social, technological, and ecological systems. Some of his latest publications include ‘Designing Development: An Exploration of Technology Innovation by Small-Scale Urban Farmers in Johannesburg’ (Ph.D. thesis, University of Johannesburg); ‘A Potential Difference Model for Educating Critical Citizen Designers: The Case Study of the Beegin Appropriate Beekeeping Technology System’ (with I. L. Brown; in Educating Citizen Designers in Southern Africa, Sunmedia, 2018); and ‘Lay Designers: Grassroots Innovation for Appropriate Change’ (Design Issues, Vol. 33, Issue 1).


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