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.
Chapter 9: Studying Economies of Design
Studying Economies of Design
How can a meaningful and useful approach to the study of economies of design be built upon? How might we link the small-scale case study of a design project to wider understandings of economic processes? What disciplinary tools are to hand to help us with these challenges? First, this chapter discusses the limitations that design management studies place on understanding the varied contexts in which design operates. It then makes a case for thinking in terms of design cultures and economic sociology rather than design management in order to get closer to these. The chapter ends by reviewing some core questions that have sat in the background of this book. These include how design operates in economies ...