Design after Capitalism: Transforming Design Today for an Equitable Tomorrow (Paperback)

Design after Capitalism: Transforming Design Today for an Equitable Tomorrow By Matthew Wizinsky Cover Image
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How design can transcend the logics, structures, and subjectivities of capitalism: a framework, theoretical grounding, and practical principles.

The designed things, experiences, and symbols that we use to perceive, understand, and perform our everyday lives are much more than just props. They directly shape how we live. In Design after Capitalism, Matthew Wizinsky argues that the world of industrial capitalism that gave birth to modern design has been dramatically transformed. Design today needs to reorient itself toward deliberate transitions of everyday politics, social relations, and economies. Looking at design through the lens of political economy, Wizinsky calls for the field to transcend the logics, structures, and subjectivities of capitalism—to combine design entrepreneurship with social empowerment in order to facilitate new ways of producing those things, symbols, and experiences that make up everyday life.
After analyzing the parallel histories of capitalism and design, Wizinsky offers some historical examples of anticapitalist, noncapitalist, and postcapitalist models of design practice. These range from the British Arts and Crafts movement of the nineteenth century to contemporary practices of growing furniture or biotextiles and automated forms of production. Drawing on insights from sociology, philosophy, economics, political science, history, environmental and sustainability studies, and critical theory—fields not usually seen as central to design—he lays out core principles for postcapitalist design; offers strategies for applying these principles to the three layers of project, practice, and discipline; and provides a set of practical guidelines for designers to use as a starting point. The work of postcapitalist design can start today, Wizinsky says—with the next project. 

About the Author

Matthew Wizinsky, a designer with more than twenty years of professional experience, is Associate Professor of Urban Technology in the Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning at the University of Michigan and Associate Editor for the design journal Visible Language.

Praise For…

Included in Fast Company's Best Design Books of 2022

"It’s no small feat that Wizinsky is able to take two big ideas—capitalism and design—and synthesize them into a human-scale narrative. Design After Capitalism is part alternative history of design and capitalism entanglements, part case studies of post- and anti-capitalist design from around the world, and part tool kit to begin imagining new ways of design—ways of talking about it, ways of practicing it, and ways of engaging with it that could exist in a post-capitalist future."
Fast Company

Product Details
ISBN: 9780262543569
ISBN-10: 0262543567
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2022
Pages: 352
Language: English