Design and Political Dissent : Spaces, Visuals, Materialities book cover
1st Edition

Design and Political Dissent
Spaces, Visuals, Materialities

Edited By

Jilly Traganou

ISBN 9780367556242
Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge
324 Pages 16 Color & 54 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book examines, through an interdisciplinary lens, the relationship between political dissent and processes of designing.

In the past twenty years, theorists of social movements have noted a diversity of visual and performative manifestations taking place in protest, while the fields of design, broadly defined, have been characterized by a growing interest in activism. The book’s premise stems from the recognition that material engagement and artifacts have the capacity to articulate political arguments or establish positions of disagreement. Its contributors look at a wide array of material practices generated by both professional and nonprofessional design actors around the globe, exploring case studies that vary from street protests and encampments to design pedagogy and community-empowerment projects.

For students and scholars of design studies, urbanism, visual culture, politics, and social movements, this book opens up new perspectives on design and its place in contemporary politics.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Jilly Traganou


Part 1: Visuals and Objects of Protest

2. The Green Stripe: The Color of Identification

Victoria Hattam

3. Strategies of Creative Dissent under the People’s Republic of China’s ‘One China Policy’

Kyle Kwok

4. The Slovene Zombie Uprising

Ksenija Berk

5. The Distribution of Abilities: Disability, Dissent, and Design Activism by the Gothenburg Cooperative for Independent Living

Otto Von Busch and Hanna af Ekström

Part 2: Artifacts in the Afterlife of Protest

6. Art of the March: Archiving Aesthetics of the Women’s March—Interviews with Alessandra Renzi, Dietmar Offenhuber, Siqi Zhu, Christopher Pietsch, and Navarjun Singh

Grace Van Ness and Prakash Krishnan

7. Dissent, Design of Territory, and Design of Memory: The Museum of Slavery and Freedom at the Valongo Wharf, Rio de Janeiro

Barbara Szaniecki and Ana Helena da Fonseca

8. Beautiful Trouble: A Pattern Language of Creative Resistance—An Interview with Nadine Bloch

Evren Uzer

Response to Section 1

9. Response to Section 1. The Objects of Political Creativity

James Jasper


Part 1: Political Contention by Design

10. Vulnerable Critical Makings: Migrant Smuggling by Boats and Border Transgression

Mahmoud Κeshavarz

11. The Madrid Hologram Protest and the Democratic Potential of Visuality

Ksenija Berk

12. Data Acquisition, Data Analytics, and Data Articulations: DIY Accountability Tools and Resistance in Indonesia—An Interview with Irendira Radjawali of Drone Academy, Indonesia

Alessandra Renzi

13. Politics of Design Activism—From Impure Politics to Parapolitics

Thomas Markussen

Part 2: Spaces of Contestation and Prefiguration

14. The Agonistic Design of Conflict Kitchen

Veronica Uribe

15. Events and Ecologies of Design and Urban Activism: From Downtown São Paulo to the Peripheries

Kristine Samson

16. Temporarily Open: A Brazilian Design School’s Experimental Approaches against the Dismantling of Public Education: A Conversation on Design Pedagogy as Dissent.

Zoy Anastassakis, Marcos Martins, Lucas Nonno, Juliana Paolucci, and Jilly Traganou

17. Designing Post-carbon Futures: The Prefigurative Politics of the Transition Movement

Emily Hardt

18. Occupied Theater Embros: Designing and Maintaining the Commons in Athens under Crisis—An Interview with Eleni Tzirtzilaki

Orsalia Dimitriou

Response to Section 2

19. Response to Section 2. Designing while Dissenting while Dissenting while Designing: A Response in Counterpoint

Zoy Anastassakis

View More



Jilly Traganou is an architect, and Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Parsons School of Design, The New School. She is co-editor-in chief of Design and Culture, and author of Designing the Olympics: Representation, Participation, Contestation (Routledge, 2016).


"... lively and timely... the volume is a welcome addition to the growing literature on design and politics. It will interest researchers and teachers of design as well as social life, while also being accessible, at least in part, to a more practice-oriented readership."

--Design and Culture

"Design and Political Dissent is a far-reaching and ambitious book not only in its intellectual and geographical scope, but also in its diversity of topics and formats."

--Journal of Design History