Alberini Family Speakers Series: Lesley-Ann Noel
Lesley-Ann Noel, an innovator in design education research, will be the speaker for the fourth annual Alberini Family Speaker Series in Design at UC Davis.
Presented by the College of Letters and Science’s Department of Design, Noel’s lecture, “Envisioning Pluriversal Design,” will be held online Nov. 6, 2020, from 11am-1pm PST. Advance registration is required for the free talk.
The design community has made several calls to re-imagine a future design education, including calls to decolonize the field. In her presentation, drawing on her own positionality as an Afro-Caribbean designer educated in Latin America, Noel will share philosophies that could guide a new form of liberatory, anti-oppressive and anti-hegemonic design education, research and practice. This form of design education would be grounded in critical consciousness, positionality, an emancipatory worldview, pluriversality, and critical utopias.
During the talk she will highlight the work of Latin American and Caribbean theorists that could ground these new ways of thinking about design. Finally she will share what design education practice can look like when it embraces multiple perspectives and is not centered around the assumption of a universal experience, whiteness or Westernness, by sharing the work of several designers who practice outside of North America or Europe, as well as sharing some of her own work. By sharing multiple worldviews and modes of practice, she hopes to challenge the audience to re-think both the definition and decolonization of design.
Noel is a recent Stanford teaching fellow from the d.school (2018-19) who is now Associate Director for Design Thinking for Social Impact and Professor of Practice at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane University. She is from Trinidad and Tobago and has degrees in industrial design from the Universidade Federal do Paraná in Brazil, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, and her Ph.D. in Design from North Carolina State University (2018). Her cutting-edge work develops emancipatory action research and practice, bringing international and pluriversal (rather than universal) ways of considering design into the field. She is one of the founders of the Pluriversal research group with the UK-based international Design Research Society.
The speaker series, supported through an endowment by the Carlos and Andrea Alberini Family Foundation, brings renowned innovators and thinkers in design to campus to inspire students and encourage community engagement and learning.