Designing situated-participation through an exploration of everyday creative practices within rural communities in Indonesia

Design intervention holds a growing presence in the development sector in Indonesia. However, rural craft and vernacular practices within development frameworks remain circumscribed by colonial perceptions of exoticism, thus dispossessing the communities of their knowledge. Focusing on the Wakatobi Islands, her PhD explores a space for design to move away from an expert-driven approach in community-based design collaborations. To do so, it investigates rural communities’ everyday creative practice as an exemplary distributed mode of innovation that demonstrates resilience and situated knowledge. The research uses participatory action research approaches to re-centre local communities’ knowledge and perspectives, aiming to forge a dialogue between design and indigenous practices and eventually reframe community empowerment practices beyond the universalised ideals of development and progress.

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