© 2009 – Routledge
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.
'A kind of bible for eco-designers.' Treehugger 'A must-read for all architecture students and professionals … A key resource, packed full of graphical diagrams, figures and references … this book is a real achievement that revitalises the 'sustainable' design debate.' RESET 'This important book rouses the latent activist in us all, to reanimate design discourse with the properties of social, economic and environmental revolution … and not a moment too soon.' Dr Jonathan Chapman, Course Leader MA Sustainable Design, University of Brighton 'We admire gymnasts for making difficult tasks look easy. And we enjoy watching acrobats make easy tasks look difficult. In making this important - and difficult - topic so accessible, Alastair has succeeded twice. This is a wonderful toyshop.' Prof. John Wood, Goldsmiths, University of London 'Having once predicted that design will be the new paradigm for saving the planet in the 21st Century, I am immensely pleased to recommend Design Activism.' Janis Birkeland, Professor of Architecture, Queensland University of Technology and author of Design for Sustainability and Positive Development 'The author of the Eco-Design Handbook (2004) has yet again created a kind of bible for eco-designers. This book helps everyone to become a better (or good!) designer.' Treehugger 'This fascinating series of essays looks at how activism through design can help create positive social and environmental change. Part history book, part design catalogue, part toolbox, this book arrives at a crucial moment in our history where we all need creative minds to work on sustainable solutions for our future.' Leonora Oppenheim 'Design Activism's main strength is its wide-ranging nature, and this is frequetly a benefit of Fuad-Luke's work…I recommend Design Activism as a useful overview of activism within design culture. The book covers a valuable range of conceptual and case material and represents an important step on the way to rethinking design practice.' Ann Thorpe, Design Activism blog 'This pedagogical book provides a historic and topical overview of design and activism, together with examples, toolkits (virtual and material) and lots of useful references for design activism.' Judith Ryser, Urban Design
Preface 1. Scoping the Territory: Design, Activism and Sustainability 2. Past Lessons: A Short History of Design in Activist Mode, 1750 to 2000 3. Global-Local Tensions: Key Drivers for Design Activism in an Unsustainable World 4. Contemporary Expressions: Design Activism, 2000 Onwards 5. Designing Together: The Power of 'We Think', 'We Design', 'We Make' 6. Activist Frameworks & Tools: Nodes, Networks & Technology, Tools 7. Adaptive Capacity: Design as a Societal Strategy for Designing 'Now' and 'Co-futuring' 8. Appendices 9. Notes 10. Bibliography 11. Index