Design Activism

Book description

Design academics and practitioners are facing a multiplicity of challenges in a dynamic, complex, world moving faster than the current design paradigm which is largely tied to the values and imperatives of commercial enterprise. Current education and practice need to evolve to ensure that the discipline of design meets sustainability drivers and equips students, teachers and professionals for the near-future. New approaches, methods and tools are urgently required as sustainability expands the context for design and what it means to be a 'designer'. Design activists, who comprise a diverse range of designers, teachers and other actors, are setting new ambitions for design. They seek to fundamentally challenge how, where and when design can catalyse positive impacts to address sustainability. They are also challenging who can utilise the power of the design process. To date, examination of contemporary and emergent design activism is poorly represented in the literature. This book will provide a rigorous exploration of design activism that will re-vitalise the design debate and provide a solid platform for students, teachers, design professionals and other disciplines interested in transformative (design) activism. Design Activism provides a comprehensive study of contemporary and emergent design activism. This activism has a dual aim - to make positive impacts towards more sustainable ways of living and working; and to challenge and reinvigorate design praxis,. It will collate, synthesise and analyse design activist approaches, processes, methods, tools and inspirational examples/outcomes from disparate sources and, in doing so, will create a specific canon of work to illuminate contemporary design discourse. Design Activism reveals the power of design for positive social and environmental change, design with a central activist role in the sustainability challenge. Inspired by past design activists and set against the context of global-local tensions, expressions of design activism are mapped. The nature of contemporary design activism is explored, from individual/collective action to the infrastructure that supports it generating powerful participatory design approaches, a diverse toolbox and inspirational outcomes. This is design as a political and social act, design to enable adaptive societal capacity for co-futuring.

Table of contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyrights
  5. Contents
  6. Figures and Tables
  7. Acronyms and Abbreviations
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Preface
  10. 1 Scoping the Territory: Design, Activism and Sustainability
    1. Defining ‘design’ today
    2. Defining ‘activism’ today
      1. Activism and the Five Capitals Framework
      2. The activism landscape
      3. Activism in architecture, design and art
    3. Motivation and intention
    4. Issue-led design and the sustainability challenge
    5. Defining the design activism space
      1. Drawing lines between ‘avant-garde’ and ‘activism’
      2. A preliminary definition of ‘design activism’
    6. Notes
  11. 2 Past Lessons: A Short History of Design in Activist Mode, 1750–2000
    1. Design as ‘giving form to culture’
    2. 1750–1960: Mass production and (sporadic) modernity
      1. Existenzminimum and other socially orientated housing projects by the Deutscher Werkbund
      2. Bauhaus myths and realities
    3. 1960–2000: From Pop and Postmodernism to Postmodern ecology and beyond
      1. The Postmodern ecologists
      2. The alternative designers
      3. The eco-efficiency activists
    4. What are the lessons learnt?
    5. Notes
  12. 3 Global–Local Tensions: Key Issues for Design in an Unsustainable World
    1. A precarious balance in a changing climate
    2. Resource depletion
      1. Oil and peak oil
      2. Essential minerals
      3. Land for food production
      4. Water for humans and agriculture
    3. Ecological capacity and biodiversity
    4. Unsustainable consumption and production
    5. Social inequity, poverty and migration
    6. Economic inequity and new visions of enterprise
    7. Other significant issues
    8. Notes
  13. 4 Contemporary Expressions: Design Activism, 2000 Onwards
    1. Thinking about design activism
      1. ‘Socially active design’: some emergent studies
      2. An emergent typology of contemporary design activism?
      3. Another approach to contextualizing design activism
      4. The critical role of artefacts in design activism
    2. Activism targeting the over-consumers
      1. Raising awareness, changing perceptions, changing behaviour
      2. Ways of making and producing
      3. Eco-efficiency improvements
      4. Contesting meaning and consumption
      5. Social cohesion and community building
      6. Miscellaneous activism
    3. Activism targeting the under-consumers
      1. Shelter, water, food
      2. Raising awareness by education
      3. Tackling health issues
      4. Miscellaneous activism
    4. Notes
  14. 5 Designing Together: The Power of ‘We Think’, ‘We Design’, ‘We Make’
    1. Dealing with ‘wicked problems’
    2. The rise of co-creation, co-innovation and co-design
      1. The open source and open design movements
      2. The intellectual commons
    3. Design approaches that encourage participation
      1. Co-design
    4. Notes
  15. 6. Activist Frameworks and Tools: Nodes, Networks and Technology
    1. People, people, people
    2. Toolbox for online world
      1. Existing design activism networks
      2. Distributed collaboration
      3. Ways of sharing visualizations
      4. Ways of making
    3. Toolbox for real world
      1. Selecting the right kind of co-design event
    4. Notes
  16. 7 Adaptive Capacity: Design as a Societal Strategy for Designing ‘Now’ and ‘Co-futuring’
    1. Design for a better future
      1. The happy sustainable planet?
      2. Bio-local and bio-regional
      3. Emerging enterprise models
      4. New ways of making and building
      5. Eco-efficient futures (slowing and powering down)
      6. Regeneration and renewal
      7. Maverick, solo designer or co-designer?
    2. Anticipatory democracy and the ‘MootSpace’
    3. Notes
  17. Key Design Movements and Groups, 1850–2000: Activist, but Where, and for Whom or What?
  18. The Millennium Development Goals, published by the United Nations (2000): Goals, Targets and Indicators
  19. Metadesign Tools Emerging from the Attainable Utopias Project
  20. Slow Design Principles, Philosophy, Process and Outcomes
  21. The DEEDS Core Principles
  22. Nodes of Design Activism
  23. Illustration credits
  24. Index

Product information

  • Title: Design Activism
  • Author(s): Alastair Fuad-Luke
  • Release date: June 2013
  • Publisher(s): Routledge
  • ISBN: 9781136568473