PRESS RELEASE: In Collaboration with Freedom Park, Design educators critically interrogate design curriculum in light of decolonisation

                                                                                                                 Press Release

27 September 2017

For Immediate Release

In Collaboration with Freedom Park, Design educators critically interrogate design curriculum in light of decolonisation

Design educators from over the country representing over 11 institutions of higher education will convene from 27 to 29 September at Freedom Park, Pretoria in response to the call that was send out by the National Design Education Forum of South Africa’s (DEFSA’s) 14th National Conference, themed #Decolonise!, co-hosted by the Faculty of the Arts, Tshwane University of Technology and the Inscape Education Group.

Prof George J Sefa Dei, internationally renowned scholar in this field, will deliver the keynote address, titled Decolonizing African education through indigeneity and research. Prof Dei is Professor of Social Justice Education and Director of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. He has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the most prestigious honour for an academic scholar. He received the 2016 Whitworth Award for Educational Research from the Canadian Education Association, awarded to the Canadian scholar whose research and scholarship have helped shape Canadian national educational policy and practice. Prof Dei is the 2015 and 2016 Carnegie African Diasporan Fellow and in 2012 received the honary title of Professor Extraordinaire from the School of Education, University of South Africa (UNISA).

In 2007, Professor Dei was installed as a traditional chief in Ghana, specifically, as the Gyaashene of the town of Asokore, Koforidau in the New Juaben Traditional Area of Ghana.  His traditional stool name is Nana Adusei Sefa Tweneboah I.

Asked for his views on the forthcoming conference, Prof Dei said:  “decolinisation is an important concept.  It is also about moving into practice.  If pursued diligently, we can witness the birth of a new educational futurities for Africa and the global community.”

In search for a robust epistemological framework Professor Dei will share his views on four discursive positions:

Epistemological frameworks must consider the body of knowledge producer, desires, politics, place and context in which knowledge is produced;

The de/anti-colonial intellectuality is intimately connected to decolonisation, and by implication, decolonisation cannot happen solely through Western (science) scholarship;

The complex challenges facing us today defy Universalist solutions; they require multi-centric ways of knowing/doing/acting that help us re-imagine and cultivate complex, multiple and intersecting ontologies and epistemologies; and

The requirement of spiritually-centred learning spaces – “sacred learning spaces” (Shirley, 2012); ‘Suahunu’, a trialectic spece (Dei, 2012)

Papers will be presented in the specialisation areas of Communication Design, Design Education, Architecture and Built Environment, Fashion Design, Multimedia, Interior Design, Photography and Jewellery Design.

For more information on the conference and the full programme, please visit or contact 012 3826145.


Members of media are invited as follows:

Date: 27-29 September 2017

Time: 9h00-16h00

Venue: Freedom Park, Pretoria


Media Enquiries

Irene Botes

Tshwane University of Technology

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0829032294.




Naomi Madima

012 336 4006/ 060 961 3851

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