Research Output
Exploring Deaf heritage futures through critical design and ‘Public Things’
  Increasingly, critical design methods offer heritage scholars new ways of exploring identities, experiences and relationships, extending a dialogic approach that supports the testing and realisation of heritage futures. This paper focuses upon a two-year national project that aimed to bring together curators, heritage professionals and Deaf communities to consider Deaf heritage as future-making.

Throughout four collaborative workshops, participants co-designed model museums, designed BSL infrastructures, formulated Deaf heritage professions and prototyped BSL souvenirs. By materialising heritage processes and ‘public things’ participants re-purposed their symbolic power to articulate prevailing inequalities and possible Deaf futures. We discuss the ways in which these playful future-making objects revealed hidden, oppressed, and contradictory heritage relations. We argue that a critical design approach to working with BSL users facilitated the disruption of conventional categories of heritage, Deafness and culture.

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  • Date:

    31 May 2020

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  • Publisher

    Informa UK Limited

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  • Funders:

    Royal Society of Edinburgh


Jamieson, K., & Discepoli, M. (2021). Exploring Deaf heritage futures through critical design and ‘Public Things’. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 27(2), 117-133.



Critical Heritage, Deaf Heritage, critical design, participative methods, public Things

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