At IDIA we're all about designing through an indigenous lens. As design strategists, researchers and practitioners, we find that global design methodologies, like Human-centred design, are colonising and homogenising. They don't allow for cultural rights, perspectives, knowledge or ways of being. And they don't help shift power back to those who need it.
Culture Centred Design supports indigenous peoples telling our own stories, building our own tools and ultimately creating a world and future that includes our world view. It’s not a tool for making design more accessible to indigenous peoples as this further creates a reliance on non-indigenous design and technology.
It’s also not intended to be a cookie-cutter design methodology where a specific indigenous culture (in this case Aotearoa Māori) is used to guide design globally. It is intended as an open, flexible and adaptable framework that centres a relevant culture – their people, knowledge and processes – in the design process in any domain.
Culture Centered Design is framed around indigenous people, knowledge and ways of being in the world. It puts indigenous people at the front of the design process. It also ensures that design projects are measured by their impact – on people and culture, on our natural world, and on the future – rather than by design awards or other accolades. This approach is linked by 3 strands: