• Threads of the Indus: the subtle forms of power in craft development in Sindh, Pakistan

Seher, Mirza, 2020, Thesis, Threads of the Indus: the subtle forms of power in craft development in Sindh, Pakistan PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

This research asks whether textile practice may offer empowerment strategies for critically reflective spaces, that allow for social transformation, in the context of traditional textile communities of women in rural Sindh, Pakistan where development opportunities are limited. It uses the reflective practice of its researcher, an urban designer/maker and Pakistani woman, to explore established power relations, as well as search for new dialogues that build meaningful relationships for creating new forms of power in interrelated social, development and design contexts.

This is a practice based PhD that approaches the research context with a phenomenological epistemological mindset informing my overall thinking. I use action research for investigating the relations and links to design through agencies, NGOs and government bodies. In my research with traditional makers I use participatory design research for collaborative exploration of new creative expressions with a central focus on improving power relations for the women I worked with. I reflect on my own practices in relation to creative outputs throughout the duration of the research as the central focus of my development as a design researcher.

This research study makes an original contribution by developing a combined methodology, through ‘Power Signifiers’, for a critically reflective approach for social and design practice building on the social sciences discourse of power analysis and power relations frameworks through forms of non-obvious power in developing contexts. It makes an original contribution to the field through the use of the ‘textile’ as a flexible space, both as language and a surface for stimulating dialogue and exchange that could generate new meaning and relationships of power.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W230 Clothing/Fashion Design > W231 Textile Design
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W790 Crafts not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2020 17:05
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2020 17:05
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4479
Edit Item (login required) Edit Item (login required)