National Māori Doctoral Conference 2014



restoring cultural balance in spatial design
In the globalised, colonised world that we presently live in – and have lived in for the past 500 years – the dominion of the Euro-American scientific, capitalist paradigm has controlled how we conceive of our selves and our relationship to the external world - the defining act for human beings, individually and collectively, determining how we exist in the world.
-Miki Seifert, He rawe tona kakahu/She wore a becoming dress

This paper will be a discussion of my doctoral research which is expanding the application of a decolonising epistemological pluralism developed by Dr Miki Seifert at Victoria University.
This methodology is being applied to a project investigating the intersection of indigenous knowledge and western design theory. The proposed research will investigate how such a methodology can be used in arts and design as a way of restoring cultural balance to the practices of installation, theatrical and performance spatial design.

The vehicle for this research is a yearlong collaboration between Maori artist, and me, a Chicano artist, working with our own respective indigenous knowledge in conjunction with design theory. Through this collaborative process, an inter-active space will be created using the principles of a decolonising epistemological pluralism as its foundation. This undertaking will use a plurality of knowledges to design, construct, and/or altar spatial localities to suit the needs of the proposed outcome developed through the collaborative process.

I will be reporting on our progress as well as my first impressions on the use of this methodology in a real world context.

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