• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

How are the rise of design and neoliberalism connected? How does design change the way we operate as economic beings? What is the economic significance of design? Historically, design has been promoted for its ability to add value to products and services. In contemporary capitalism, however, it assumes a more central and more complex role. Design today is both influenced by, and actively shapes, our economic systems. This ground-breaking book shines a spotlight on how design has become embedded in political economies. It reveals the multiple ways in which design has emerged as a vital feature of neoliberal economic systems, from urban strategies to commercial processes to government policy-making. Drawing on a range of global examples, Guy Julier: • explains the economic processes of design • shows how design works to support financial systems • explores the relationship between design and intellectual property • discusses the role of design in the public sector • highlights the impact of design in informal and alternative economies • brings theory to life with case studies on home improvements, fast fashion, shopping centres and more. Economies of Design provides a thought-provoking new way of understanding and talking about the meanings of design in contemporary capitalism. It is an essential companion for students of design and the creative industries across the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Introduction: Contemporary Capitalism and the Rise of Design
Introduction: Contemporary Capitalism and the Rise of Design

Since the 1980s there has been extraordinary growth and visibility of design throughout most of the world. This is connected to fundamental developments in capitalism. This period may otherwise be termed ‘neoliberalism’. Chapter 1 explains some of the ways by which the rise of design and neoliberalism are connected. In particular, it shows how neoliberalism is played out in multiple ways and, relatedly, how design is varied in its practices and outcomes. The reach and complexity of design objects has also extended in the era of neoliberalism and some of this chapter considers the new kinds of artefacts that have emerged. The overall approach of this book and its ...

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