Post-qualitative design research: Negotiating serendipity and risking the colonised self

  • Karolien Perold-Bull Stellenbosch University
  • Elmarie Costandius Stellenbosch University


The research discussed in this paper aimed to explore design education in the context of transformation in South African higher education through practising design research/education geared at productive change within a specific institution. Through experimentation with a postqualitative methodological approach, processes of subjectification that transpired throughout the doing of a specific case of design/research/teaching in the context of the institution’s Visual Communication Design curriculum were critically negotiated. Experimentation with representational praxis in ways that challenged its traditional semiotic function allowed space and time for subjects to become more attuned to recognising and responding to serendipitous moments within their situated present. It can, consequently, be argued that the more such moments become felt through everyday design education and practice, the more receptive individuals can become to the potential for productive future change.


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Author Biographies

Karolien Perold-Bull, Stellenbosch University

Karolien Perold-Bull is a lecturer and coordinator of the Visual Communication Design division in the Visual Arts Department, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her focus lies in design thinking, typographic, information, and experience design, and navigating the dynamic relationships between these fields and design philosophy and theory. In her research, she explores design from posthuman, new materialist perspectives. Her PhD focused on design education within the context of transformation and decolonisation in South African higher education.

Elmarie Costandius, Stellenbosch University

Elmarie Costandius is an associate professor in Visual Arts and coordinates the MA in Visual Arts (Art Education) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She studied Information Design at the University of Pretoria and continued her studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, and completed a master’s in Globalisation and Higher Education at the University of the Western Cape. Her PhD in Curriculum Studies (Stellenbosch University) focused on social responsibility and critical citizenship in art education.