Global Design History Pedagogy and Ecological Justice

Margaret Schmitz's picture
Call for Papers
February 10, 2021 to February 13, 2021
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, History Education, Indigenous Studies

CFP: Session at CAA

February 10-13, 2021


Global Design History Pedagogy and Ecological Justice

Margaret Joan Schmitz, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and Chelsea Holton, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Email Address(s):,

Recent developments in ecocriticism, postcolonial theory, and critical race theory have made the links between design, colonialism, racism, and ecological violence clear. Eurocentric design histories tend to ignore these concerning interconnections. As we work to rectify this issue in higher education, this practical session looks to present new strategies for a global and decolonized design history education as a means of both putting these correlations in higher relief and disrupting the status quo for design students.

The problems contemporary designers are trying to solve can often be linked to unsustainable design decisions made in the past. As students and educators consider design’s contributions to climate change and the Anthropocene, our classroom discussions increasingly revolve around developing design solutions, such as posthumanist design, co-design, and biomimicry. In addition to those important methodological shifts, how can our classrooms also incorporate sustainable models from indigenous and non-Western knowledge systems while dismantling the formal, conceptual, and ideological power dynamics at play in outmoded Western design histories? Can ecological justice, as a mode of interpreting the histories of design, change how future designers consider their practice?

This session will offer a group of papers that take on these important themes. Papers will present new teaching strategies, lesson plans, and/or case studies and question how we, as historians and design educators, teach these histories in the wake of climate change’s global impact.


Application materials are due to both session chairs (email addresses above) by September 16th


For information on applying to this session please see:

Contact Info: 

Application materials are due to both session chairs by September 16th. Send application materials to: and