Lizette Reitsma: Respectful Design for incorporating indigenous and alternative knowledge

Welcome to a K3 seminar with Lizette Reitsma, Associate Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design, K3

The title of the seminar is Respectful Design for incorporating indigenous and alternative knowledge

This will be an online seminar, carried out through Zoom, and it will take place on Wednesday, October 28 at 10.15-12.00. Please join here:

Below you will find an abstract.


Much of my work corresponds to the notion of the pluriverse (as popularized by, for example, Escobar (2018)), in the sense that I try to provide dialogical spaces to support counternarratives to contemporary (Northern) assumptions of the universal and of ‘reality’. 

I have worked with different indigenous communities and other groups, whose knowledges have been considered irrelevant, not ‘true’ as it is not based on ‘science’ or naive. Due to its oral nature of dissemination, especially in indigenous communities, much of the knowledge is disappearing in a rapid pace. Providing space for these kinds of knowledges is, however, of extreme importance.  Not just for the communities’ resilience, but also since it may open up possibilities to find and shape alternative futures. Or, to address unsustainable practices.

In this seminar, I will introduce some of the projects that I have done in collaboration with different communities. Through each of those, ways to include, give space and/or support preservation of other worldviews and knowledges have been explored. In these explorations I reflected on my own practices, role, attitudes and expectations. All with the intention to better learn and practice respectful ways to design with groups that have a different worldview from the one I have. In this, I question how to respectfully design with communities/groups – acknowledging their knowledge system, even though I might not (fully) understand it?

This seminar will be a personal one, as I intend to introduce myself through my work, my research journey and through my personal reflections on who and how I am as a designer/researcher. It will also focus on the process in which I currently am – that of re-understanding where I am at, and where I will go next.

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