Grounding Codesign in a Culturally Appropriate Landscape: Learning From Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being and Doing Through Conversation

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Despres, Sylvain




The purpose of this study is to understand how to ground a codesign process in a culturally appropriate landscape. The study outlines the challenges of a National Capital Commission urban design proposal that I submitted in 2014. It refers to the historical context that informs the contemporary reality of Indigenous culture in Canada, examines current literature on participatory design from a post-colonial lens, discusses the concept of participation within Indigenous research methods and outlines potential guidelines.

Methodologically, insights are gathered through conversations with First Nation, Métis and non-Indigenous designers, and interpreted to permeate a cross-cultural codesign process.

The study concludes that Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing form a set of essential cultural teachings, which contribute to a codesign praxis in culturally appropriate contexts and re-affirms Indigenous knowledge as a critical feature to inform spaces of inclusive engagement.

Keywords: Codesign, participatory design, Indigenous research guidelines, Indigenous knowledge and culture.






Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Design: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Industrial Design

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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