Dr Danah Abdulla is an educator, designer and research. Currently, she is a Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures course at the London College of Communication. She completed her PhD in the Design department at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2017. Her PhD research explored possibilities of making design education curricula more relevant to milieu in Amman, Jordan.
Her research interests include new narratives and practices in design that push the disciplinary boundaries and definitions of the discipline. She is also a founding member of the Decolonising Design (link to decolonisingdesign.com) research group alongside seven other researchers, and the founder, creative director and editor of Kalimat Magazine (link to kalimatmagazine.com), an independent, non-profit publication about Arab thought and culture.
Danah obtained her MA in Social Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2012) in Baltimore, Maryland, and a BA (Honours) in Communications from the University of Ottawa (2008), in Ottawa, Ontario.
decolonising design; design education; possibilities of design education; design cultures; design cultures in the Arab world; publishing; the politics of design; social design; visual communication.
I am interested in new narratives and practices in design that push the disciplinary boundaries and definitions of the discipline. My research is particularly focused on decolonising design, possibilities of design education, design culture(s) (Arab region focus), publishing, the politics of design, and critical views of social design practices. My PhD thesis — Design Otherwise: Towards a Locally-Centric Design Education Curricula in Jordan — examined the philosophies, theories, practices, models of curriculum, and pedagogy that are appropriate references for design education curricula in Jordan to be more locally-centric. Through participatory action research, I worked with a range of designers, design educators and design students to explore the possibilities of design education that is more relevant to milieu.
Outputs include a peer reviewed journal paper, book chapters (forthcoming) and conference papers. I have presented my work at a range of academic conferences and more industry focused conferences, conducted several workshops, and alongside my research group Decolonising Design, organised a symposium on intersectionality in design, co-edited an issue of the Design and Culture journal, and organised part of the platforms programme for the Beyond Change conference in Basel.
- Collective Perspectives on Decolonising Design Education - Abdulla, Danah and Prado, Luiza and Schultz, Tristan, Decolonising Design (2017) Collective Perspectives on Decolonising Design Education. In: Exclusive Access: On the dynamics and vocabularies of co-option, care and the subaltern at Venice Research Pavilion, 10-11 June 2017, Research Pavilion, Sala del Camino, Campo S. Cosmo, Giudecca, Venice, Italy. (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/11537/)
- Remarks on Mohamed Elshahed's talk 'Collecting Modern Egypt' - Abdulla, Danah (2017) Remarks on Mohamed Elshahed's talk 'Collecting Modern Egypt'. In: Collecting Modern Egypt, 5 May 2017, British Museum. (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/11529/)
- Propositions for design culture in the Arab world - Abdulla, Danah (2017) Propositions for design culture in the Arab world. In: Studio X Amman at Milan Design Week, 8 April 2017, Milan, Italy. (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/11530/)
- Collaborative Curricula - Abdulla, Danah (2016) Collaborative Curricula. In: Cumulus Hong Kong Open Design for E-very-thing, 21-24 November 2016, Hong Kong. (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/11526/)
- Intersectional Perspectives on Design, Politics and Power - Abdulla, Danah, Decolonising Design (2016) Intersectional Perspectives on Design, Politics and Power. In: Intersectional Perspectives on Design, Politics and Power, 12-14 November 2016, Malmö, Sweden. (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/11536/)
- Designers Represent! Developing a Design Association in Amman, Jordan - Abdulla, Danah (2016) Designers Represent! Developing a Design Association in Amman, Jordan. In: Designers Represent! Developing a Design Association in Amman, Jordan, 4 September 2016, Amman, Jordan. (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/11535/)
- A Manifesto of Change or Design Imperialism? A Look at the Purpose of the Social Design Practice. - Abdulla, Danah (2014) A Manifesto of Change or Design Imperialism? A Look at the Purpose of the Social Design Practice. In: 5th STS Italia Conference: A Matter of Design: Making Society through Science and Technology, 12-14 June 2014, Milan, Italy. (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/10297/)