Designers working with local communities, encouraging active citizenship and new forms of participatory policy making, are also contributing to a shift in the very notions of citizenship and politics. Therefore, their work has a political impact and correlated responsibilities.
Via Traders Talk
While we witness the rupture of various systems in society, many of which are key pillars on which post-War Western societies have been built, we also see citizens looking for new ways for take part in and contribute to alternative ways of reshaping the common sphere, to redefine the idea of politics and of citizenship. Designers can play a role in this quest by shaping the preconditions for and enhance participation in the public sphere, by further enabling creative communities to take on an active role in this broad endeavour as such. By working in collaboration with communities, cities and neighbourhoods they can help to increase inclusion in the process of decision making and experiment with people’s roles therein as such. They can support and guide the co-design and co-production of local, socially sustainable and inclusive initiatives. Because of their experimental nature, these can be considered as small ‘states of exceptions’, prototypes of an alternative, more inclusive, rightful and sustainable society. Hence, designers working with local communities, encouraging active citizenship and new forms of participatory policy making, are also contributing to a shift in the very notions of citizenship and politics. Therefore, their work has a political impact and correlated responsibilities.
The writings of the German philosopher Hannah Arendt- in particular The Human Condition and The Origin of Totalitarianism – can be helpful prisms for designers to better understand the political implications of their work and to reflect on how to enhance active citizenship and inclusion in our societies. In the seminar some of the key passages of these books will be presented and discussed together. The participants will be asked to actively participate in the discussion – moderated by Virginia Tassinari – and encouraged to use social media to disseminate key insights. At the end of the discussion, design guidelines inspired by the discussion will be formulated jointly. •
DESIS Philosophy Talks nurture the dialogue between design and philosophy and between practice and theory. The talks match practical issues and topics emerging from design practice in the field of social innovation around the world with insights from the philosophical tradition. Several notions, such as beauty, public vs. private and community, which normally belong to the field of social sciences, appear to emerge from a kind of ‘phenomenological’ study of different cases of design for social innovation. The DESIS Philosophy Talks aim to stimulate dialogue between the fields of philosophy and design, starting from concrete cases of design for social innovation. DESIS Philosophy Talks are an initiative of Ezio Manzini and Virginia Tassinari of DESIS International. → desis-philosophytalks.org