Critical Design Sensibility in Postcolonial Conditions

Huatong Sun

Abstract


For the past decade, social media technologies have acclaimed global successes and altered local cultures. Various uses across the globe not only present peculiar patterns characterized by local cultural and sociotechnical conditions, but also are complicated by the issues of value, identity, power, and hegemony in the postcolonial conditions. Unfortunately postcolonial scholarship had been absent in technology and computing design discourse until lately, and this partially explains why culture is often interpreted narrowly and statically, and structure and its structuring process is mostly ignored in cross-cultural design practices. To address these issues, I argue that cross-cultural design community should foster a critical design sensibility to understand the postcolonial conditions where we are living through so that we could come up with culturally sensitive designs that are not only driven by market revenues but by mindful listening, ethical standards, social justice, and the conscience of “design for social good” as well.

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