• 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.

Informal and Alternative Economies
Informal and Alternative Economies

Design clearly operates in and supports conventional neo-liberal practices. But it is also active at their edges or even outside them. Chapter 7 discusses four examples of design in informal and alternative economies. The first focuses on shanzhai innovations in China that come out of copying and adapting mainstream products. We then consider frugal or jugaad innovation in India and whether this movement has the capacity to influence the wider economy. In Argentina, we see how design operates in circumstances of extreme economic crisis and the resulting the political processes of horizontalidad. Finally, we visit a timebanking system in the UK that was set up exclusively for creative practitioners as a political response to neoliberalism.

In informal ...

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