Supporting Excellence in Indigenous Cultural Design Competency

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  • 2022

  • Service

Designed By:

  • Greenshoot Consulting (Lead Consultant)
  • Learning Hook (Delivery Partner)

Commissioned By:

Melbourne School of Design

University of Melbourne

Designed In:

Australia

Greenshoot Consulting was engaged by one of Australia’s leading Indigenous Architects and design academics, Jefa Greenaway to create a suite of Indigenous Cultural Design Competence learning modules. The modules were designed to support academics with the Melbourne School of Design to build competency and Indigenise the current student curriculum


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  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • In 2017, the Melbourne School of design initiated a pioneering aspiration to enhance the student experience and delivery of programs by incorporating Indigenous Design Cultural Competencies across all of its academic programs. Greenshoot Consulting supported Indigenous architect and lecturer Jefa Greenaway to co-design four unique Indigenous Design pillars, which were subsequently validated with Indigenous academics and Elders representing Wurundjeri, Boon Wurrung, Bunurong and Yorta Yorta. These Indigenous Design Pillars were translated into four learning modules within a bespoke bi-directional learning platform for academics to build their own cultural competency, whilst providing resources and case studies to support student curriculum development

  • This design solution reflected Indigenous led decision making across all key decision points. We delivered a design discipline-specific learning solution supporting academics teaching in the built environment, to develop student curriculum that embeds an understanding of the value of Indigenous design. The four learning modules sought to decolonise the traditional learning model archetype by using artwork as the canvas for the learning module navigation. Each learning module used a different canvas and centred the learner by beginning with a narration of the learning objective by an Elder, reflective of oral learning traditions.

  • The Indigenous Cultural Design Competency training modules empower academic staff to become advocates for Indigenous design and engage with Indigenous knowledge systems, as they relate to the built environment by embedding Indigenous voices into curriculum and strengthening relationships with Traditional Owners. This work supports cultural change at scale by ensuring Indigenous design is infused into all future student curriculum. This will not only increase the cultural safety of the curriculum, attracting more First Peoples to pursue careers in design, but will fundamentally transform the relationship that future generations of built environment professionals have when designing on Country

  • - Indigenous design learning modules for academics in the built environment - The Indigenous Cultural Design Competency modules are self-paced and contain links to relevant research, case studies and critical reflection questions to support academics to incorporate learning into student curriculum. -Self-evaluation of Indigenous Cultural Design Competency is built into the platform enabling overall assessment of the efficacy of the learning solution -Built in user evaluation of each individual learning modules explores the extent to which the module supports Indigenous Design competence development, as well as, curriculum development relevance, supporting further iteration. -A distinguishing design characteristic of the solution is that it supports bi-directional learning by encouraging the user to nominate further academic research and case studies to improve the relevance, efficacy and utility of the learning solution over time. -As a repository for the latest research and case studies that can be added to over time, it becomes an invaluable resource to continue to evolve Indigenous design as an academic discipline -All resources and modules summaries are downloadable