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Economies of Design
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Economies of Design


Other Titles in:
Design | Social Theory | Visual Culture

February 2017 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

How are the rise of design and neoliberalism connected? How does design change the way we operate as economic beings? What is the economic significance of design?

Historically, design has been promoted for its for its capacity to add value to products and services. In contemporary capitalism, however, it assumes a more central and more complex role. Design today is both influenced by, and actively shapes, our economic systems.

This ground-breaking book shines a spotlight on how design has become embedded in political economies. It reveals the multiple ways in which design has emerged as a vital feature of neoliberal economic systems, from urban strategies to commercial processes to government policy-making. Drawing on a range of global examples, Guy Julier: 

  • explains the economic processes of design
  • explores the relationship between design and intellectual property
  • discusses the role of design in the public sector
  • highlights the impact of design in informal and alternative economies
  • brings theory to life with case studies on home improvements, fast fashion, shopping centres and more.

Economies of Design provides a thought-provoking new way of understanding and talking about the meanings of design in contemporary capitalism. It is an essential companion for students of design and the creative industries across the arts, humanities and social sciences.

 
Introduction: Contemporary Capitalism and the Rise of Design
 
Design Culture and the Neoliberal Object
 
Design Work
 
Global Trade and Mobilities
 
Financialization and Assets
 
Intellectual Property
 
Informal and Alternative Economies
 
Public Sector Innovation
 
Studying Economies of Design

It's the economy, stupid! Money makes the world go around. All of that comes by design. Government policies, company strategies, products, services and systems, all are the outcomes of design. Even money is designed. Finally there is a book that explains how design and the economy are interwoven. Chapeau Guy Julier for sharing these fascinating insights with us.

Cees de Bont
Hong Kong Polytechnic University

This important book takes what could have been a dry subject and turns it into a compelling and accessible narrative. By laying bare the entanglement of design with economics, Julier allows us to reconsider how designers might best engage their practices with the wider forces and effects of neoliberalism, or else help develop alternative models.

Jeremy Till
Central Saint Martins - UAL

In this provocative and accessible book, Guy Julier asks and answers a number of questions: Is there such a thing as a neoliberal object? Why are design and neoliberalism so good together? Through a discussion that takes in design as work, as process, as object and as activism, Julier spotlights the changing culture of design since the 1980s and its intimate and sometimes surprising relationships with neoliberalization. A compelling analysis.

David Bell
University of Leeds

"The writing is fluid; popping with quirky references, clever intuitions, snapshots and personal asides that pepper the storyline and hammer home the message that design and economics are inseparably intertwined. Rapid turns of thought, clever, surprising angles and insightful pauses underpin the solid writing and deliver a winning formula"

John Knight
Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
The Design Journal

What I liked while reading the book is that design is considered to be very broad. Julier finds its practices so wide that he refuses to adhere to one specific definition. This allows the author to describe a wide range of design activities and processes—fashion design, film, retail, food services, among others—and it does not describe the UK only. Instead, the book takes us to places like Turkey, China, and India. Julier analyses both the public and the private sector and formal and informal economies.

The book exudes thoroughness, and yet it comes with a personal touch. The author describes an autobiographical event when he and his friends took the bus on a Sunday to the nearest big city (Exeter) to visit some of the global brand outlets.

Cees de Bont,
School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation

"Essential reading for scholars within the design and the creative industries who are interested in the interrelationships of economics and design, contributing significantly to knowledge and triggering further debate in this area. It is a valuable theoretical resource for scholars in visual communication where academic texts are sparse"

Carol Meachem
Staffordshire University
Visual Communication Journal Vol. 18

"This important book takes what could have been a dry subject and turns it into a compelling and accessible narrative. By laying bare the entanglement of design with economics, Julier allows us to reconsider how designers might best engage their practices with the wider forces and effects of neoliberalism, or else help develop alternative models."

Jeremy Till
Central Saint Martins – UAL
designculture.info

In this provocative and accessible book, Guy Julier asks and answers a number of questions: Is there such a thing as a neoliberal object? Why are design and neoliberalism so good together? Through a discussion that takes in design as work, as process, as object and as activism, Julier spotlights the changing culture of design since the 1980s and its intimate and sometimes surprising relationships with neoliberalization. A compelling analysis.

 
David Bell
University of Leeds
designculture.info

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4: Global Trade and Mobilities


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Guy Julier

Guy Julier is Senior Lecturer in design at Leeds Metropolitan University. More About Author

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