Political Economics of Design: Funding trumps form or function

Keynote by Chris Csikszentmihalyi
Wednesday 21 October 2015
@ UPTEC PINC Auditorium

The schism between paper design on one side, and the actual material world that is produced on the other, is as wide now as it has ever been.  Design for sustainability, design criticism, and speculative design constantly outstrip what actually gets made in the world, posing the real question of whether design can be an effective agent of social change.  As journalists say, follow the money:  Who can afford designers, product engineers, and the means of production, other than the most rich and powerful in society?

New forms of cooperative approaches to the production of our material culture are possible.  By first following the political economics of things, and then leveraging new changes in the cost of communication, it is possible to develop — at the least — a far more diverse, inclusive, and grassroots material culture.