On a design quest, the title of the international symposium.
We were to explore the future of design thinking.
During one of the workshop, I mentioned the word ‘culture’
and they got agitated.
My assumption was that you equated race with skin pigmentation.
If a black man speaks about culture he is automatically alluding to skin colour.
My interpretation of this mode of thinking is that you assume that we are of an undifferentiated group defined solely by the colour of our skin, with ‘us’
there are no nuances. Culture — in reference to ‘us’ does not have to do with values and norms, or the structures of society: for we are devoid of this, we, you (the designers of the future) define as primitive and thus bereft of the basic tenets of civility.
And, then you saw me at the performance of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, I went up to you and said hello and introduced you to my boyfriend, you froze, you stood looking perplexed.
Alas, my definition of culture goes beyond the complexion of my skin.