Nerd Talk

Eastbound: On Designing One’s Decolonial Project

What does it mean to decolonise one’s practice and knowledge? As a design researcher, my entire educational and professional background in design has been built in the Western world. The constant exposure to new knowledge and ideologies has taught me to embrace the unknown(s) and go beyond initial appearances or preoccupations over the years. At the same time, it has encouraged me to start questioning the origin and the border of knowledge, particularly the scope of design in relation to my own culture and background as a Vietnamese design researcher. I knew I needed to head eastbound towards my home land of Vietnam. I knew I needed to investigate the history of Vietnamese design through the lens of decoloniality. As such, eastbound is as much a journal of my identity quest as it is a decolonial research project. It serves as a positionality, enabling the decolonial thought(s) and doing(s) appropriate to the context of Vietnam. In doing so, it provides an alternative way of comprehending the current state of Vietnamese design and explores the condition in which the question of decolonising Vietnamese design can be made possible.

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Ngọc Triệu

Design Researcher, Simply Secure

Ngọc practices design as an intervention to address and reform asymmetrical power relations. As a design researcher, she imagines the future(s) of the world(s) through lenses such as decoloniality and decentralization. Ngọc is passionate about user advocacy, co-creation, and equal access to knowledges(s). Whether she is distilling data into insights that inform design decisions or conceptualizing information architecture, Ngọc works closely with designers, developers, and funders to ensure accessibility and security for vulnerable communities.