Robert L. Peters

30 April 2008

Indigo design network launched…

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Melbourne, Australia

Indigo, an international programme that provides a platform for Indigenous design was launched last night (today) in Melbourne by Icograda, the world body for professional communication design, in partnership with Australia’s National Design Centre. Indigo offers opportunities for local and Indigenous designers across the globe—as designers work within a global context seemingly without borders, Indigo provides a platform for evolving creative expressions that shape the formation of national cultural identities.

Indigo is a project that asks: What is Indigenous design? To address this, it has set up a network of designers and a series of projects that explore its meaning and interpretation throughout the world. The notion of local design is frequently contested, hard won and often indeterminate. It includes themes of colonisation, migration, politics, language, history, identity and conditions such as the economy and natural resources.

Indigo seeks to understand what makes design distinctive to its home, the connections to the place where it is made and for whom it is made,” said Kathy Demos, Director of the National Design Centre. “Indigo is a demonstration of the IDA’s (International Design Alliance) commitment to fostering and promoting cultural diversity in today’s globalised society,” said Don Ryun Chang, President of Icograda and IDA Lead Chair.

I was delighted to see that background imagery for the Indigo website incorporates works from ‘Mix06 AUSA: Migrant Indigenous eXchange’ created by my students at the University of Hartford, USA and Monash University in Melbourne, AUS (Russell Kennedy and I introduced this pilot project in 2006 as an exploration of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous culture within the context of national identity). ‘Mix08: Sustainability is old news’ (the latest poster project announced by Indigo) invites design students around the world to create discourse and foster collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants.

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