This book is an essential contribution to the transdisciplinary field of critical design studies.
The essays in this collection locate design at the center of a series of interrelated planetary crises, from climate change, nuclear war, and racial and geopolitical violence to education, computational culture, and the loss of the commons. In doing so, the essays propose a range of needed interventions in order to transform design itself and its role within the shifting realities of a planetary crisis. It challenges the widely popular view that design can contribute to solving world problems by exposing how this attitude only intensifies the problems we currently face. In this way, the essays critique the dominant modes of framing the meaning and scope of design as a largely Anglo-European 'problem-solving' practice. By drawing on post-development theory, decolonial theory, black studies, continental philosophy, science and technology studies, and more, the contributions envision a critical and speculative practice that problematises both its engagement with planet and itself.
The essays in this collection will appeal to design theorists and practitioners alike, but also to scholars and students generally concerned with how the past and future of design is implicated in the unfolding complexity of ecological devastation, racial and political violence, coloniality, technological futures, and the brutality of modern Western culture generally.
Table of Contents
Editor’s Introduction: "Design In Crisis, Introducing a Problematic"
PART ONE INTRODUCTION— "Postdevelopment, Decoloniality and Plural Futures"
1. Arturo Escobar – "Designing as a Future Praxis for the Healing of the Web of Life"
2. Cameron Tonkinwise – "Sacrifices That Do Not Work in Crisis
3. Alfredo Gutiérrez – "When Design Goes South: From Decoloniality, Through Declassification to Dessobons"
4. Anne-Marie Willis – "The Designing of Time"
PART TWO INTRODUCTION— "Decolonizing Artifice"
5. Clive Dilnot—"Designing in the World of the Naturalized Artificial"
6. Adam Nocek—"Governmental Designing: On the Transcendental Mediation of the Algorithm"
7. Ahmed Ansari—"Design's Missing Others and Their Incommensurate Worlds"
PART THREE INTRODUCTION—"Farewell to Discipline"
8. Madina Tlostanova – "Unlearning and Relearning Design"
9. Shana Agid – "Knowing What Needs: Design, Refusal, and Making Otherwise"
10. Damian White – "The Institutional Gap in Critical Design Studies"
AFTERWORD—"Closing in on Crisis, Opening out of Design"
Tony Fry is Adjunct Professor, Architecture and Design, University of Tasmania, and Visiting Professor, Universidad de Ibagué, Colombia. His research interests span philosophy of design, urban design, futures, conflict studies, and post-development and cultural theory. His latest book is Defuturing: A New Design Philosophy (2020).
Adam Nocek is Assistant Professor in the Philosophy of Technology in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at Arizona State University. He is the founding director of the Center for Philosophical Technologies at ASU and the author of Molecular Capture: The Animation of Biology (2020).