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10. Communications, Management and Participation


Read chapter 10 of The Culture of Design 'Communications, Management and Participation'

This chapter looks at the various ways by which design intervenes in 'upstream' areas. This is where design is used to influence people who work for an organisation or, for example, help people in their participation in civic affairs. It is about end-users of design in the way that in turn, these may be informed. One might say that its emphasis more on  influencing behaviours and outlooks than design products or environments for use.



1. Employees as consumers


Visit a place of work and analyse how a sense of 'corporate belonging' is created. Is this in design elements like uniforms, training guidelines or through, for example, the design of the staff canteen? How, if at all, do the concepts of 'aesthetic labour' or 'emotional labour' work here?



2. Social participation and design activism


Toward the end of the chapter (revised 3rd edition only), there is a section which looks at how design can be used to raise political consciousness. This may be in indirect ways. The example given is the turfing of a street in the city of Leeds as a way of getting people to think in new ways about their public realm and their neighbourhood. This is 'a designerly way of intervening into people's lives'. 


Discuss the potential that approach this kind of design activism has to work in political terms, both its possibilities and limitations.




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