Visual Pattern Thinking through Indigenous Respectful Design Systems and Ants


This chapter is an experiment in thinking through ‘respectful design’ (Sheehan 2011), represented through a relational generative visual dialogue using the metaphor of red meat ants. We offer this dialogue as an opportunity to see design in the context of plurality and systemic wicked problems, because we suggest that designing radically new social and political patterns is going to require re-inscribing relational ways of being. This visual and relational pattern thinking may help contribute to this design turn. We ask readers to remain open. We are traversing knowledge that is beyond the suite of knowledge acquired under the rubric of the modernity/coloniality; an Indigenous Philosophy of being-in-the world – one in which everything in the world is a living system and living systems exchange information constantly. We speak from a premise that knowledge relations and exchange is a living system too. We consider the patterns generated in this chapter as alive and actively generating our negotiation and exchange of responses in considering what are respectful designs.


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