Looking for initiatives seeking to change
the design discipline from within

On the occasion of the Swiss Design Network conference “Beyond Change: questioning the role of design in global transformation”, we are compiling a list of design platforms and initiatives that seek to expose the social, political, cultural, economic and environmental impact of design, revealing its complicity in creating, perpetuating, or intensifying problems, with the aim of formulating new strategies to overcome these challenges.

We are searching for initiatives that critically investigate the politics of design practice, as well as the politics of the artefacts, systems and practices produced by designerly activity — in short, platforms which are problematizing the role of design from within the discipline itself. This could include (but is not limited to) initiatives that seek to decolonize, depatriarchalize and deprecarize the design field in general; develop self-critical alternatives to design education; promote sustainable modes of design practice; or expose the labour conditions and ecological impact of design-related production.

Our aim of creating a list of such initiatives is to provide a global overview of the ongoing changes in the critical understanding of design, as well as to foster an intersection between parallel and complementary initiatives. The resulting compilation will be presented through an online open source document, as well as, possibly, in the form of a printed map to be published during the conference.

Do you know any such initiative(s)? Please write us at platforms@beyondchange.ch until December 15, 2017. The resulting collection will be published on the occasion of the conference “Beyond Change” and made available online as an open resource.

“Beyond Change: questioning the role of design in times of global transformation” will take place between March 8–10, 2018 at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel. The conference is organised by the Swiss Design Network, the national competence network for design research in Switzerland, comprising all Swiss Art and Design Universities.