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SocSocialising design? From consumption to productionialising design? From consumption to production

Tonkiss, Fran (2018) SocSocialising design? From consumption to productionialising design? From consumption to production. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action, 21 (6). pp. 872-882. ISSN 1470-3629

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13604813.2017.1412923


The notion that design should be socially engaged has become an article of architectural faith, but it is not always clear what we want from design in social terms, or want the social to do or to be within design processes. In the discussion that follows, I consider some of the core ways in which ideas of the social inform the field of spatial design. Debates over social architecture are frequently concerned with alternative and activist approaches to the practice of design, and the papers in this collection take up in critical mode a range of right-thinking and left-leaning interventions which are committed to social ends, processes and values. There is a strong orientation in this field to low-income urbanism as the crucible for socialised design—in contexts where the ‘social’ may be the chief or only resource in conditions of state under-capacity and capital indifference. My focus, however, is less on avowedly engaged practices of spatial design than on the social dimensions of more orthodox—and generally more powerful—designs on space. The initial aim is to call out the versions of the social implicated in mainstream design and development in rich-world settings. Such an account begins with the social sites in which design projects take place, and the social uses to which the latter are geared. The larger aim of the discussion, however, is to go beyond a concept of the social as the context or the object of design to think more critically about the social relations of production which shape design as a process and produce space as a design outcome.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2018 10:31
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2024 18:54

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