Mapping Indigenous Futures: Decolonising Techno-Colonising Designs


  • Tristan Schultz Griffith University, Australia


This paper provides a critical interrogation of the consequences of modernity and coloniality, particularly in an Aboriginal Australian context, with focus on the accelerating speed of socio-communicative technological change. I argue from a perspective of being Australian with both Aboriginal and European heritage, with a designing politics for human ‘sustainment’ (Fry, 2009). Five provocations are provided that illustrate ways in which the seductive and repressive nature of modernity/coloniality enables socio-communicative technologies to increasingly eliminate groups’ capacities to imagine decolonising being-human. I summarise ways in which I apply learnings surrounding decolonising design modes of listening and comprehending that can contribute to help groups think, talk and map their situatedness among this phenomenon and mobilise decolonising options for their own worlds.

Keywords: decolonising design, ontological design, respectful design, Indigenous design futures, Indigenous knowledge, sustainment, techno-colonialism.

Author Biography

Tristan Schultz, Griffith University, Australia

Lecturer, Design Faculty, Griffith University, Australia

Tristan Schultz is an accomplished Interdisciplinary designer, researcher and strategist. His research is focussed on decolonising design and mapping practice, with a particular interest in Indigenous Design Futures.

He also runs a social design practice, relative creative that works with schools, government, orgs and institutes to decolonise their practices.

Tristan will have completed his PhD in June 2018.






Special Issue: Autonomía - Design strategies for enabling design process