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Description - Designing (Post)Colonial Knowledge: Imagining South Asia by Priya Jha

Over the past 20 years we have seen critical design studies emerge as a springboard for scholars, activists, and those working in the creative industries. Design studies has enabled critics to link the relationship between constructions of knowledge and the emotional commitments that both practitioners and audiences bring to the making and uses of design work. A critical focus on these practices can reveal issues such as the distribution of power and emotional evocations and experiences in and through different designs.

At the same time, the use of design studies has drawn on diverse fields such as art history, architecture, public policy, and Geographic Information Systems. This collected volume, the first of its kind, engages with these fields of critical inquiry with ideas and debates in post-colonial studies, and in media and cultural studies. It contributes to a growing body of scholarship that examines material culture and its relationship between design and its construction of knowledge about multicultural identities in the colonial and postcolonial periods, with a focus on South Asia. The chapters pose questions about colonial history, colonial and postcolonial cultural practices, and the aestheticization of South Asian art, design, and media forms as they inform identities in a deterritorialized global culture.

The sites of the investigation by the contributors reflect the interdisciplinarity of design studies and share the insistence on emphasizing the vernacular: Indian fashion design, lithographic design in Muslim princely states, and Indian floor drawings live alongside museum exhibitions, shopping malls, and film spaces.

This book was originally published as a special issue of South Asian Popular Culture.

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