Section Contents

6 DESIGN AND POWER - design as a tool
6.1 Who is design for?
6.1.1 Role of the Consumer
6.1.2 Politics/Power
6.1.3 Critiques
6.2 The market
6.2.1 Growth and Building
6.3 Design in Place
6.3.1 Design in Cities
6.3.2 Design in the Military
6.3.3 Design in Space
6.3.4 Design in Transportation add to Scri
6.4 Currency
6.5 Design voices
6.6 Power of data
6.7 The functions of design
6.7.1 Perspectivisation (2.2.3) + Parallax
6.8 The functions of the Client
6.9 The role of Institutions (timeline examples)
6.9.1 National aspect/characteristics


Pursuing themes from Section 5 this provides an overview of more politicised aspects and provides detail of how design is chanelled and put to use with a focus on the relationship it has to groups and power and particular spaces and specific contexts. Issues concerning freedoms; of trade, speech, information are set against those of control, restriction and confrontation. The mediations of communications technology, the importance of data and currency (in its widest sense) are investigated and the relations between and responsibilities of stakeholders and actants in the spectrum of design origination and application are mapped out. The historical ‘voices’ of design, from Ruskin, Morris, Gropius, Fuller, through to Sotsass, Jobs et al are mined for the paradigms they identified and proposed and these provide illumination of how design is part of wider debates about values, society and agency. A key concept that runs through this Section is that of perspectivisation, disparate views, and essentially what is visible to whom.


how is the nature of human ‘being’ refigured by the artificial environments that we humans design to be our habit(at)s?
Can there be a concensus on what design should be invested in.
Designs (and designers) are largely caught between constraints; of the commercial, the authoritarian. Is there is a spectrum of design being used in the service of ALL attitudes and forces?
Is design a motiveless resource that can be put to service by any ideology?
is there a current metaphor that can be used in place of the Great Chain of Being?
Should design be an expression of our common purpose or our individual aspirations?
How do we unpack/define levels of functionality. Sensory (aesthetic), Physical (durability, responsiveness), , emotional, environmental (, aspirational? .......TBC


6.3 Design in Place
A house has to fulfill two purposes. First it is a machine
for living in, that is, a machine to provide us with
efficient help for speed and accuracy in our work, a
diligent and helpful machine which should satisfy all
our physical needs: comfort. But it should also be a
place conducive to meditation, and, lastly a beautiful
place, bringing much-needed tranquility to the mind.
Le Corbusier, The New Spirit in Architecture, 1924

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