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Series: Series in Design

Chronicles of Care: A Design History of the COVID-19 Virus

Paul A. Rodgers, University of Strathclyde, UK et al.

January 2024 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-718-4
Availability: In stock
372pp. ¦ $76 £61 €71

The Covid-19 crisis and the designed interventions that the authors have catalogued in this book prove definitively that design does care. The authors documented this as it evolved every day from the 1st January 2020 to 31st May 2020 inclusive. Then they looked at all of this care and caring from the point of view of design and, by the sheer volume of design interventions they have documented, illustrate that design is good in a crisis. What the Covid-19 pandemic illustrated is that for the first time in modern history, capital was totally irrelevant. Money could not save your life. Only design could. Rapidly designed masks, shelters, hospitals, instructional posters, infographics, dashboards, respirators, sanitisers, virtual and local communities emerged to save us. From January 2020, design became king. The Covid-19 global pandemic presented an ontological reality; design is more than margins or profit. In fact, design became extremely valuable when it stopped concentrating on those things and started to care about peoples’ lives. This brief episode in history is still repositioning the status of design and reconfiguring its signifier from consumption to care. The contents of this book cover the outbreak, lockdown, and the beginning of the reopening in the UK. In between, the book functions as a history of pandemic crisis design interventions. As such it is a “research-in-the-moment project” where we have illustrated our thoughts and insights in tables, charts and diagrams. We have accepted all design interventions as valid and given them the same role and status by presenting each of them in a standard format. No curation. No selection. No position. The task of critical analysis must follow – perhaps by us, certainly by others.

Going Real: The Value of Design in the Era of PostCapitalism

Giovanni Innella, Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology, Japan and Marco Petroni

April 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-605-8
Availability: In stock
92pp. [Color] ¦ $54 £40 €46

In the age of post-capitalism, what is the value of design? Is value defined by economic potential? Or is it something far less tangible? Now more than ever design has the ability to engage us in economic, political and cultural debate, to actively resist the monotony of daily life, and to counteract the precarious situation on which modern society seems to rest. Positioning itself as a lens through which to view the world, design allows us, and in some cases, even forces us to reflect on the many aspects of the societies in which we live. Divided into three chapters, GOING REAL positions itself in relation to the works of Marc Jongen, Maurizio Lazzarato, Adam Greenfield and Tiziana Terranova, among others. However, unlike the abovementioned authors, this book draws on the works of selected designers and artists to reflect on the economic, political and cultural aspects of our post-capitalist societies. Beginning with an in-depth case study of Detroit during the downfall of the industrial era, this volume moves on to a timely and provocative insight into the human crises surrounding current migration trends with a particular focus on Calais. Finally, in the third chapter, the human body itself is laid bare as the authors analyse how and why the most personal of ‘spaces’ became not only the ultimate marketplace for businesses but also an object of control for governments.

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