Posted to the Ethnos Project by on December 15th, 2015

This paper explores the notion of an “oral form of design” in response to questions at the heart of a new major partnership project titled “Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage.” It brings together Inuit and Qallunaat (non-Inuit) who are all engaged in various ways of exploring the cognitive and cultural gap between orality and materiality – information exchange and manifestation of knowledge for Inuit in the Canadian Arctic. Our team will work with Inuit, particularly in Nunavut, to create new forms of cultural production, to exert their voices and in so doing attempt to redefine contemporary Inuit identity. Through discussion of Deleuze and Guattari’s smooth and striated space, Ong’s orality and literacy, and the role of art and design, the author suggests that design practice that deploys Ong’s secondary orality can provide opportunity for Inuit youth to participate in making a future that evolves contemporary Inuit identity, and gives agency for exerting Inuit voices.

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