Ka mua, ka muri: navigating the future of design education by drawing upon indigenous frameworks
Keywords:Design, Education, Mātauranga Māori, Metaphor, Polynesian Navigation
As design practitioners and educators attempt to respond to a shifting world– in the Māori language, Te Ao Hurihuri–how might we manage such changes? An indigenous precedent draws upon the past to assist the future: ka mua ka muri, ‘travelling backwards into the future,’ the past spread out behind us, as we move into the unknown. Indigenous academics draw inspiration from extant traditional viewpoints, reframing them as methodologies, using metaphor to shape solutions. What is it about the power of metaphor, particularly indigenous ways of seeing, that might offer solutions? In this paper, I describe explorations to extract guiding principles from Indigenous navigational knowledge. The goal: to construct a applicable structure for tertiary design teaching from two metaphorical models, based in Samoan and Hawaiian worldviews, and related Māori concepts. The result was a Navigator framework, created for potential use in a collaborative, studio-style classroom.
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