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Dr. Louise St. Pierre receives Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal
By Stacey Makortoff (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies)
Dr. Louise St. Pierre’s thesis, Baskets of Offerings: Design, nature, animism, and pedagogy, investigates alternate ways of knowing and learning that help designers intuit the extent to which our creations involve all human and more-than-human forms of life. Her research draws extensively from the wisdom traditions as well as contemplative practices.
Louise urges the Design field to redirect its energy and attention towards the contemplative, holistic, animistic, ecological, embodied, and the ethical through building an understanding and a connection with nature, ecological literacy, a visceral understanding of the Earth, and a spiritual knowing that we are interconnected and inseparable from all beings.
“It was a true pleasure to read Louise St. Pierre’s thesis, Animating the Design Field. While immersed in these “baskets of offerings,” I was often deeply moved by the resonances the author’s varied vibrant texts (including visual ones) evoked in relation to my own life/work,” says external examiner, Erika Hasebe-Ludt, University of Lethbridge.
“Louise’s thesis earned her external examiner’s deep respect and appreciation for its careful examination of the socio-economic-political forces of colonialism, capitalism, and consumerism that have shaped the Industrial Design field. To this end, Louise has been implementing in her university teaching the design philosophy and pedagogy that she sketched out in her thesis, inspiring, mentoring, and preparing the next generation of designers to further augment and refine the paradigm shift that she, with likeminded colleagues around the world, has initiated,” says her supervisor, Heesoon Bai.
Louise continues to develop embodied, relational, contemplative, and experiential pedagogies through her networks and at Emily Carr University, where she founded the Design for All Beings research group. Her PhD includes the publication of Design and Nature: A Partnership, a co-edited book developed through an international collaboration.