Skip to main content

Designerly Ways of Knowing
Danah Abdulla

Designerly Ways of Knowing Danah Abdulla

Designerly Ways of Knowing Danah AbdullaDesignerly Ways of Knowing
Danah Abdulla


64 pages
110 mm x 175 mm
ISBN 9789493148802


A guidebook slash notebook of things designers should think about in order for them to know. Design thinking has created divisions in the discipline: either designers are too theory driven or simply practitioners. Those feeling lost can easily turn to a language meant to inspire creative production in easy to pitch ways, where rhetoric uses design to keep power at bay, to celebrate hegemonic beliefs which are used to indoctrinate designers in bad education, incapable of imagining different futures. If you take away the post-its, the A3 papers and the markers, can designers think?

Led by Antonio Gramsci’s advice that knowing thyself requires compiling an inventory, design critic, educator and researcher Danah Abdulla pays tribute to the late architect, activist and critic Michael Sorkin, whose original list “Two Hundred and Fifty Things an Architect Should Know” inspired this updated version targeted at designers. The iterative list is not meant to be a definitive how to guide, but to spark conversations, to prompt critical thinking and to help designers reconfigure their discipline.

About the Artist
Danah Abdulla is a designer, educator and researcher interested in new narratives and practices in design that push the disciplinary boundaries and definitions of the discipline. She is Programme Director of Graphic Design at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts, UAL. Prior to this role, she was Senior Lecturer in Communication Design at Brunel University London, and was a Lecturer in the design school at London College of Communication.

About the Publisher
Onomatopee (founded and directed by Freek Lomme since 2006) is a curating and editorially led public gallery and publisher that is known for their self-initiated and transdisciplinary projects. Onomatopee also hosts the projects of  artist-run and institutional organisations.

Leave a Reply