The first Design and Economics Unconference took place online from 8-23 April 2021.
A mix of talks, workshops and events, the unconference provided a space for economists and designers to meet, explore the intersections and find new connections.
Below are recordings of all the sessions that took place.
The Agile Body – The Occupational Context of Neoliberalist Design (hosted by John Knight)
This session took place on April 23, 2021.
Design Education + Economics (Hosted by Elise Hodson)
This session looks at the potential for economics to be incorporated in design education.
Beyond Tinkering – the Future of Social Innovation (hosted by Tommy Hutchinson)
With experience from working in over 40 countries, Tommy Hutchinson, founder of i-genius sets out a Manifesto on how social innovation needs to change if it is to remain relevant in a changing world.
The failure of trust in designing our systems (hosted by Julia Petretta)
Trust is a staple when it comes to value exchange. Whether conscious or not, it is trust in a system that allows us to participate.
Counter-Framing the New Economy (hosted by Sharon Prendeville and Pandora Syperek)
This talk will interrogate the socio-material “taken-for-grantedness” of the framing of the New Economy, focusing on the dualistic embededdness of the ‘constitutional trio’ of sustainability: economics, society, ecology, and their variations.
The Hermetic Bank Card (hosted by James Richards)
What would it be like if the rituals and practices of our everyday bank card transactions, were more significant? What if we could design for understanding, and have interactions that lead to a deeper understanding of our places in personal, national and global economies?
Spatial reasoning and economic space (hosted by Stuart Curran)
Design can be a way to reason with space by making abstract thought visible.
Ainu Design: Past and Present (hosted by Maki Sekine, Xanat Vargas Meza and partially in Japanese)
The Ainu are one of the indigenous groups that live in Japan. This session will present a brief summary of Ainu Design (particularly textile design), current applications and the links of indigenous design with society and the environment in the Japanese context.
Design, housing transitions and the Social and Solidarity Economy (hosted by Adrià Garcia i Mateu)
Beyond design interventions, we’re seeing how a nuanced understanding of the political economy of the contexts we intervene is key for an impactful practice.
Questioning just and equitable resource access in circular economies (hosted by Isaac Ortega Alvarado)
The circular economy (CE) is a buzzword, presented as a set of approaches to minimize the negative impacts of resource exploitation —in extraction and waste. However, little is said about the distribution and access of resources in a CE, or better said economical aspect of it.
How designers get to become economic agents and can bring that agency into community and change (hosted by Gill Wildman)
This is a discussion about how we as designers might think about about capturing the value of what we create as designers, and what our participants create with us.
Pluriversal Design: Perspectives from Ainu Mosir (hosted by Xanat Vargas Meza)
Ainu Mosir is the world of the Ainu people, recognized as indigenous by the Japanese government. By the means of cultural revitalization through legislation and social movements, Ainu creatives have slowly but steadily flourished in recent years.
Designing for Liberation in Solidarity Economy Circuits (hosted by Frederick van Amstel)
Solidarity economy is an approach for developing fair community exchanges and human development within capitalist societies, working as a semi-detached alternative economic circuit based on the principles of self-management.
Making debt pay in public sector service design (hosted by Dan Howarth, Vicky Teinaki)
If you work on digital services, you probably know the term ‘technical debt’. But what about design, research, product, data and service debt – are they all things too?
Resources and Externalities in digital design (hosted by Gauthier Roussilhe)
This discussion intends to explore how digital design practices embody specific economic ideas, possibly inadequate for ecological transition policies.
Mapping the Territory: The visual fields of Economics and Design (hosted by John V Willshire)
From representations to simulations, assumptions to ideologies, modelling to wondering, it’s a session that promises no answers and lots of questions about the questions.
#commonize: Using commonized design to create a post-capitalist economy (hosted by Justin Sacks)
To commonize is to place a resource under the governance of a community of people, versus privatize or nationalize.
Circling the Diamond – imagining sustainable design thinking (hosted by Alastair Somerville)
How can we imagine sustainable models of Design Thinking that are not trapped by consumerism? Let’s spend time talking about circling the double diamond.
Existing and Emerging Political Economies of Design (hosted by Dr. Joanna Boehnert)
The political economy governs design economies and ultimately determines whether the design industry can (or cannot) rise to global challenges such as climate change.
Design. A Business Case – Thinking, Leading and Managing by Design (hosted by Sally Brazier, Brigitte Borja de Mozota, Steinar Valade-Amland
Design. A Business Case – Thinking, Leading and Managing by Design (by Brigitte Borja de Mozota & Steinar Valade-Amland) argues the business case for design excellence in organization—whether your mission is to develop new products, services, or procedures or to change existing ones into something better.
A space where Design and Economics meet
Driven by the postgraduate programme at Ravensbourne University’s new Institute for Creativity and Technology, the first Design and Economics unconference is a collaborative initiative to build momentum and coherence around emergent ideas and conversations.
At its heart lies the essential belief that human ingenuity and adaptability – our ability to design solutions to the problems we are facing – can best be addressed by bringing people together, crossing specialisms and tearing up the rule book of conventional thinking. This calls for new narratives around social imaginaries and how these can shape the public sphere, economic development, the emergence of new services and new modes of interaction.