Melbourne’s Deakin University is working on an international guide to help visual designers use culturally-aware and accurate representations of Indigenous imagery in their work.
Development of the International Indigenous Design Charter begins next month when Deakin researchers and Indigenous students from Deakin’s Institute of Koori Education (IKE) travel to Greenland, Sweden, and Denmark for a series of workshops.
The team will meet local Sami and Inuit people, along with industry designers, academics and designers from the University of Greenland, the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology and Greenland House during the WAS.IS.ALWAYS South to North workshops.
An International Design Charter will be on the agenda.
Dr Russell Kennedy, senior lecturer in visual communication design at Deakin University, said the workshops followed the creation of a design charter for Australia in September.
“The Indigenous-led charter outlines 10 points for non-Indigenous and Indigenous communication designers and buyers of design to follow throughout the various stages of the design process,” he said.
“The issue of inappropriate representation and misuse of Indigenous culture in communication design is international. There are Indigenous groups facing similar problems in every continent around the world.
“Through the WAS.IS.ALWAYS workshops, we’re hoping to learn about the experiences of Indigenous people around the world and incorporate their insights into an international charter.”
WAS.IS.ALWAYS will be hosted by Deakin’s partner, the University of Greenland and formally opened by Australian ambassador to Denmark, Norway and Iceland, Damien Miller.