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Indigenizing Design

Client/Funder: National Endowment for the Arts
Location: Navajo Nation
Catapult Service Line: Design
Tematic Area: Language


Challenge

Through the Native way of innovation, resilience, and fortitude, Indigenous designers are uniquely positioned to lead in imagining a more equitable and just future. However, Native voices have been systematically oppressed, ignored, and erased from history. In order to amplify these Native voices, we aim to establish a Native Design Identity and Learning Pathways centered on Indigenous knowledge and worldview. We intend to do this by indigenizing the current field of design towards a more inclusive Native design language, methodology, and place-based curriculum.

Work

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) approved funding for Indigenizing Design, an initiative that aims to co-design processes with indigenous communities. The program’s goals are to expand justice and equity which, historically, have been excluded from traditional design practices.

To carry out this work, Catapult Design has partnered with a broad team of collaborators including Eunique Yazzie, Melody Lewis, and Brian Skeet of Cahokia, along with the active participation of local Navajo residents.

Results

 This work is currently underway, so stay tuned for updates