• 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.

Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property

The economic value of design is in the shaping of new forms, mechanisms, symbols, services and systems. The originality of these is located in their intellectual property, which designers usually sell on to their clients. This intellectual property can be legally protected against copying through patents, trademark and design registration. Chapter 6 explores the roles that intellectual property plays in design. On the one hand, it can be used by companies to strategically defend market share against competitors. Meanwhile, only a minority of designers actually pursue the registration of their own work. We see how, particularly in fashion and furniture design, trade fairs set the pace of innovations, leaving intellectual property concerns behind.

Intellectual property (IP) can be a very dull ...

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