Read chapter 2 of The Culture of Design 'Design and Production'
This chapter is mostly concerned with explaining the rise of design since the 1980s. In particular, it looks out how design has been important in the changes from 'Fordist' to 'post-Fordist' systems in global economies. Within this, the concept of differentiation is a key feature both for production and the work of designers in the culture of design.
Here are two exercises to look at differentiation and the economics of design.
Browse through trade magazines, professional design magazines or design company websites or any other source that tells us about design and production from the industry point of view. Make a record of any language or imagery that is used to underline this idea of 'differentiation'. This may advertising tag-lines, the way products or interiors are photographed or editorial text. Create a collage using your material. This might be arranged in a way that shows particular tendencies you have noticed, such as expressions that are frequently used or ways of using imagery.
2. The economics of design
What do you understand to be 'disorganized capitalism'? How does this affect the way that designers work or their institutional organization? What implications does 'disorganized capitalism' have for the ways that designers make a living?