Arjun: A creative exploration of worldbuilding to discuss cultural dislocation and belonging


  • Damian Arjun Wilson Auckland University of Technology
  • Tatiana Tavares Auckland University of Technology



Autoethnography, Cultural Dislocation, Liminality, Manual Design, Science Fiction


This article will discuss concepts of cultural dislocation and belonging through a practice-led worldbuilding design project called Arjun. Arjun is a creative exploration of storytelling through a designed publication that uses diagrams, notations, and photographic manipulations to explore a character’s experience in a foreign land. The publication presents a polyphonic story from the perspective of Arjun who is hired by the fictional corporation Federation (F.E.D.R) to explore a land where both familiar and unfamiliar takes place. Arjun searches for his sense of purpose and identity, in a self-dialogue with his own dislocation. Established within the tenants of Hinduism, this research project stimulates speculative meanings through worldbuilding design as means to discuss my cultural dislocation with my own Fijian Indian ancestry. Conceptually, the project is concerned with the philosophical principles of Hindu reincarnation, its relationships to the subconscious mind (Callander & Cummings, 2021) and liminality (Turner, 1969; Ipomoea, 2015). The article will discuss how practice emerged both conceptually and visually through a synthesis between theory and making in its creation and conceptualisation. Reflective processes and self-search methodologies are utilised to access personal experiences and prominent levels of exploration with materials through the methods of notation, journaling, copywriting, image processing and prototyping.


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Author Biographies

Damian Arjun Wilson, Auckland University of Technology

Damian Arjun Wilson is a Communication Design graduate of Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Auckland, New Zealand. His research subject examines the intersections of ethnicity and cultural disconnection through the investigation of his own lived experience.

Tatiana Tavares, Auckland University of Technology

Dr Tatiana Tavares is a senior lecturer at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Auckland, New Zealand. She is a practising artist with 15 years’ experience in the graphic design industry. Her research subject is concerned with the potentials of polyvocality and interactive digital narrative.


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How to Cite

Arjun Wilson, D., & Tavares, T. . (2023). Arjun: A creative exploration of worldbuilding to discuss cultural dislocation and belonging. DAT Journal, 8(1), 42–69.