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  • 1. Keshavarz, Mahmoud
    Design and Dissensus: Framing and Staging Participation in Design Research2013In: Design Philosophy Papers, ISSN 1448-7136, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 7-29Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    When people cite Herbert Simon’s definition of design (as they frequently do) as an activity that seeks to Change Existing Situations Into Preferred Ones, this is usually an entrée into what they really want to discuss, which is “how do designers do this?” Here lies the history of the ‘design methods’ movement that sought to rationalise design as process, and the counter-reaction to it as researchers and designers began to conceptualise their work in terms of human-centred design, participatory design, co-design, design ethnography, and so on. But what’s been overlooked in Simon’s oft-repeated definition of design is the change bit – the move from existing to preferred is glided over as if obvious. If pressed to name the gap between the existing and the preferred, those who cite Simon would perhaps say something like – better functionality, performance, convenience, efficiency, aesthetic appeal, and so on. The parameters of change are assumed as given, as issuing from the client, thus they are circumscribed, delimited, not an issue.

  • 2.
    Mazé, Ramia
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    Design Practices and the Micropolitics of Sustainability2013In: Proceedings of Architecture in Effect. Rethinking The Social in Architecture, 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainable development involves multiple discourses and practices at multiple levels in society, in which there are competing and conflicting formulations of what constitutes ‘sustainability.’ Sustainability involves struggles around definitions and priorities, among those maintaining or gaining influence, struggles set within a pluricentric society in which interests are often in competition at a time of rapid globalization, conflicts over diminishing resources, and rising risk factors. These struggles trickle down into policies, regulations, taxes – and designs – which embody particular discourses, ideals and priorities, implying profound changes to how we live and how we live together. Sustainable development, on a variety of levels, is and essentially, a matter of the political. Design is increasingly taking on roles in sustainable development – and, thus, in its politics. At the macropolitical level, design may be commissioned for the UN Environment Program, a Green Party, or grassroots political action; by companies implementing corporate social responsibility, product developers applying environmental certification standards, or cities implementing Rio Local Agenda programs. Micropolitical roles of design, the focus here, involve instituting discourses and practices of sustainability deeply in the everyday life of consumers and citizens. Embedded in the intimate spaces and embodied routines of everyday life, design mediates access to and control over resources, and it shapes how people identify and comply with particular ideals and ways of living. Here, I evoke two general areas in which the design role is growing – ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘sustainable communities’. In these roles, design is engaged in mediating how and by whom resources are accessed and controlled, and which or whose interests are made visible in sustainable development. In reducing domestic energy consumption and steering sustainable processes in communities, profound changes to the social organization of everyday life are at stake. Just as sustainable development is a political matter, so is design.

  • 3.
    Mazé, Ramia
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    Formes Critiques: Pour une pratique critique du design2013In: Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne, ISSN 0181-1525, no 123, p. 46-55Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    How may criticality take form in relation to design practices? How may critical practices articulate alternatives or futures for the design profession? In this article, I discuss some aspects of critical practices of design. I briefly trace how ideals and alternatives are explored within genres of ‘concept’, ‘conceptual’ or ‘critical’ design. Engaging with the ideas expressed through design practice, such practices illustrate how intellectual and ideological issues might be constructed from within, rather than prescribed from outside. This represents an important shift in relations between theory and practice in design – criticism is not something merely to be done apart from and outside of design but is incorporated within design practices and forms. This shift is also reflected in academia, in which practice-based approaches to design research are expanding. To illustrate some approaches, I present examples from Switch!, a practice-based design research program at the Interactive Institute in Sweden. This anchors a discussion of how critical practices may take form today, and how, or why, they have important role for a discipline in transition.

  • 4.
    Mazé, Ramia
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    Forms and Politics of Design Futures2014In: Proceedings of the Design Anthropology Network symposium, 2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The future is not empty. The future is loaded with fantasies, aspirations and fears, with persuasive visions of the future that shape our cultural imaginaries. The future bears the consequences of historical patterns and current lifestyles, deeply rooted in our embodied skills and cultural habits. The future will be occupied by the built environments, infrastructures and things that we produce today. Many of the ‘images, skills and stuff’ (f.ex. Scott, Bakker, and Quist, 2012) that endure and matter long after are designed, and design, more or less intentionally, takes part in giving form to futures. Some design practices take this on intentionally and explicitly – among others, genres of ‘concept’, ‘critical’ and ‘persuasive’ design. I have (re)positioned my own practice-based design research in relation to such genres over the years, and, increasingly, in relation to futures studies, thereby inquiring into the dilemmas of futurity. This prompts me to ask, what is at stake as we take on the future in design? In this text, I argue that design must take on temporal politics. Design futures and futures studies are typically preoccupied with questions of ‘what’ or ‘which’ future, or ‘how’ to get there, which are often reduced to methodological issues and a turn to some familiar approaches from the social sciences. However, if futurity represents an outside to the present, this may not be sufficient. Instead, I have been considering further questions and approaches. If the future represents a possibility of formulating an outside, of giving form and intervening a different socio-economic reality, it becomes a political act. From this perspective, ‘the future’ is not a destination that might be defined and reached with the right methods, but a ‘supervalence’ (Grosz, 1999), an outside to an experienced present. As such, futurity represents a possibility to establish critical distance, a distance established temporally. Critical distance may not only be established in order to reexamine the present but also to imagine, materialize, intervene and live particular alternatives. This perspective on the future changes the questions that we must ask of design and how we might do design. I trace some preliminary thoughts about the temporal politics of design futures here, pointing at some examples, to (re)frame questions at stake in my own work that may also have wider relevance for design research. This text is the draft of an introduction to a longer forthcoming paper.

  • 5.
    Mazé, Ramia
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    Forms and Politics of Design Futures2014In: Proceedings of the Architecture in Effect, Architecture in the Making and ResArc symposium, April 2014, Göteborg, 2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The future is not empty. The future is loaded with fantasies, aspirations and fears, with persuasive visions of the future that shape our cultural imaginaries. The future bears the consequences of historical patterns and current lifestyles, deeply rooted in our embodied skills and cultural habits. The future will be occupied by the built environments, infrastructures and things that we produce today. Many of the ‘images, skills and stuff’ which endure and matter long after are designed (Shove et al., 2007), and design, more or less intentionally, takes part in giving form to futures. Some design practices take this on intentionally and explicitly – among others, genres of ‘concept’, ‘critical’ and ‘persuasive’ design. I have (re)positioned my own practice-based design research in relation to such genres over the years, and, increasingly, in relation to futures studies, thereby inquiring into the dilemmas of futurity. This prompts me to ask, what is at stake as we take on the future in design? In this text, I argue that design must take on temporal politics. Design futures and futures studies are typically preoccupied with questions of ‘what’ or ‘which’ future, or ‘how’ to get there, which are often reduced to methodological issues and a turn to some familiar approaches from the social sciences. However, if futurity represents an outside to the present, this may not be sufficient. Instead, I have been considering further questions and approaches. If the future represents a possibility of formulating an outside, of giving form and intervening a different socio-economic reality, it becomes a political act. From this perspective, ‘the future’ is not a destination that might be defined and reached with the right methods, but a ‘supervalence’ (Grosz, 1999), an outside to an experienced present. As such, futurity represents a possibility to establish critical distance, a distance established temporally. Critical distance may not only be established in order to reexamine the present but also to imagine, materialize, intervene and live particular alternatives. This perspective on the future changes the questions that we must ask of design and how we might do design. I trace some preliminary thoughts about the temporal politics of design futures here, pointing at some examples, to (re)frame questions at stake in my own work that may also have wider relevance for design research."

  • 6.
    Mazé, Ramia
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    Our Common Future? Political Questions for Designing Social Innovation2014In: Proceedings of the DRS Design Research Society Conference, 2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    "Design roles are expanding in society, as reflected in a growth of interest and funding for design and design research in the area of ‘social innovation’. By social innovation here, I refer to the provision of social services and resources, such as habitation, education, care, mobility and food, in which design is increasingly engaged in the complexity and dynamics of local provision of such services and resources, and in the co-production of alternatives. The question of designing for social innovation necessarily involves political questions about the role of design in how, where, by and for whom, and in what forms, wider social practices and systems, beliefs and authority, may be altered. To explore such questions, I outline methodological approaches, emergent themes and key examples from three case studies, in the US, Denmark and The Netherlands, in which designers, design methods and materials took part in issues and controversies of sustainable development. In these cases, design had roles in (re)producing or rupturing a particular ‘commons’ in terms of how and where social innovation is framed and staged, for and by ‘who’ and in ‘what’ forms.

  • 7.
    Mazé, Ramia
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    Socio-Ecological Innovation: Cases of sustainable urban development and design2013In: Proceedings of the ERSCP-EMSU Conference (Istanbul, Turkey, Jun)., 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent decades have seen a significant shift in how profound and intractable problems such as poverty, disease, violence or environmental deterioration are handled. While such problems have traditionally been handled through national social and spatial policies in European welfare states such as Sweden, there has been a substantial redistribution to the market, regions and communities. This is embodied in the term ‘social innovation’, which marks a critical shift in how, where, and by whom societal problems are handled. Practices of social innovation involve a reconfiguration of relations between the state and citizens, relations that are may be (co-)produced in ways that are regionally, socially, and spatially specific. This paper (in the short form of ‘preliminary findings’) explores the ‘how’ of social innovation through three case studies concerning urban resources issues such as food, water, waste and land use. Building on arguments that design has become central to the (co-)production of social innovation, I examine the role of designers and design artifacts in framing and staging (co-)production within households, neighborhoods and civic arenas. Locating social innovation as the reconfiguration of society from within, I discuss these as examples through which wider social practices and systems, beliefs and authority, may be profoundly altered.

  • 8.
    Mazé, Ramia
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    SWITCH!: Design and everyday energy ecologies2013Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Mazé, Ramia
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    The Future is Not Empty: Design imaginaries and design determinisms2014In: Proceedings of the Oxford Futures Forum, 2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Design has a long history of giving form to cultural imaginaries about the future. Acceptera, the first manifesto of Swedish Modern design, distributed by the publishing arm of the Social Democratic party, evokes in text and image a modern, or future, ‘A-Europe’, “The society we are building for”, versus ‘B-Europe’, or “Sweden-then”. It is a manifesto for development in a predetermined direction, creation on the basis of time, a specific arrow of time leading to a singular socio-political, as well as technological and design, ideal future. Design – as manifesto-like visions of the future, as scenario methods for planning, strategy and foresight, or as ‘transition arenas’ such as change labs and Living Labs – is increasingly employed in future-oriented governance strategies and ‘corporate imagination’. In the theory of history, and futures, however, there has been a shift from diachronic (linear) thinking, and an argument that causality itself might be understood as an essentially narrative category. I argue that the future is not a destination but a ‘supervalence’, an outside to an experienced present that is necessary to establish critical distance, to imagine and live alternatives. From this perspective, I rethink the forms and politics of design futures, discussing around a series of design examples from my own practice-based research (Mazé, ed. Switch! Energy Futures, 2013) and other’s examples of design fictions and lived utopias (Ericson and Mazé, eds. DESIGN ACT, 2011). Further, I reflect upon the power of design futures in shaping the present. I argue that this requires not only rethinking the forms and politics of design futures, but critical consideration of ‘ontological politics’, or the political reasons for preferring and enacting one reality over another

  • 10.
    Mazé, Ramia
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    Who is Sustainable?: Querying the politics of sustainable design practices2013In: Share this Book: Critical perspectives and dialogues about design and sustainability, Stockholm: Axl Books, 2013, p. 83-122Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Mazé, Ramia
    et al.
    University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
    Olausson, LisaPlöjel, MatildaRedström, JohanZetterlund, ChristinaUniversity College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Ädellab/Metal.
    Share this book: Critical perspectives and dialogues about design and sustainability2013Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This is a critical time in design. Concepts and practices of design are changing in response to historical developments in the modes of industrial design production and consumption. Indeed, the imperative of more sustainable development requires profound reconsideration of design today. Theoretical foundations and professional definitions are at stake, with consequences for institutions such as museums and universities as well as for future practitioners. This is ‘critical’ on many levels, from the urgent need to address societal and environmental issues to the reflexivity required to think and do design differently

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