“De-othering" reflects on emotionally powerful encounters experienced by myself and others in experimental studio spaces I continue to create with stakeholders and collaborators in Shanghai, Beijing, and Chongqing through a narrated collage of images, and audiovisual documents.
The video communicates empirical insights about how intensive, situated learning environments can generate a de-colonised zone where the potential for new languages of design is forged in a pliant process of transcultural and interdisciplinary collaboration.
The work seeks to communicate how by working collaboratively students, academics, and practitioners from diverse cultural and language backgrounds can co-language emergent shared understandings and envisage as yet unforeseen futures through authentic and disruptive collaborative modes of practice that displace our ubiquitous and limiting constructions of alterity.
Dr Ian McArthur is a hybrid practitioner working in the domains of experimental interdisciplinary practice, transcultural collaboration, sound art, experimental radio, metadesign, and education change. Research projects include the development of mad.lab, an urban research platform in Chongqing, South West China in collaboration with industry partners Priestman Architects and Cqubed. mad.lab’s program focuses on developing education, research, and industry projects to incubate, develop and present new site-specific, mediated and issue-based concepts for the future of cities. This intersects with Ian’s research investigating the development of participatory design methods using large urban screens as diagnostic tools for urban planning with Australia and China based researchers and practitioners.
Collaboration is core to all of this. I haven’t been able to do this by myself.
I decided to try and create these collaborative spaces where young people, young designers, young artists, coders, architects, could get together and try to work on some of these problems - problems of the city in particular.
I came to realize that the face-to-face encounter was where it’s at. That’s where real transformation can happen on a personal level. That’s where the difference can be made.
There’s a moment in every studio when the students meet. It’s quite profound.
I am a designer, and it made me realize that all the problems that we face as humans manifest here in extremely provocative ways… and the only way that we can get into this and get involved is together.