Designing Economic Cultures

Designing Economic Cultures is a three-year research project by design duo Brave New Alps (who we just recently interviewed for our dialogue series). The scope of the project is to investigate the relationship between socio-economic precarity and the production of socially and politically engaged design projects. BNA frames the fundamental question to which their research sets out to find answers as follows: “how can designers, who through their work want to question and challenge the prevalent economic system, gain a satisfying degree of social and economic security without having to submit themselves to the commercial pressures of the market? In other words, how can designers, who have a critically engaged practice, keep on developing this practice without selling themselves off or being crushed by the market? Designing Economic Cultures is an attempt to articulate, develop and share a wide range of tactics and structures that allow designers to produce work that contributes to the development of a more autonomous, democratic and heterogeneous society.”

As also described in the interview, BNA uses a broad structure to conduct their research, consisting of four main research methods:

1)theoretical research on neoliberal economy and on a selection of theories and thinkers who conceptualise the possibility of rupture with the capitalist logic
2) interviews with designers and other practitioners who manage to carry on a sustainable critically engaged practice with the help of a variety of support structures
3) self- experiments with different kinds of alternative economic and organisational models
4) a series of seminars and workshops for students about design and precarity at Goldsmiths College

The combination of theory, dialogue, and praxis are tightly connected, fueling and pushing each other.

The project is based in the Design Department at Goldsmiths College in London and is made possible through a Ph.D fellowship in Design that has been awarded to Bianca Elzenbaumer for a period of three years (2011-2013).

Here, you can download the first publication-in-progress of the interviews conducted between March 2011 and February 2012. If you print the A4-pdf, it might look like this:

Be inspired!

window 874 recommends:
Brave New Alps; Designing Economic Cultures – A Research in Progress of Non-affirmative Practice (2010 – ).

KM, 23.8.2012.


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