DESIGN-POLITICS NEXUS: MATERIAL ARTICULATIONS AND MODES OF ACTING

Mahmoud Keshavarz

Abstract


This paper is a theoretical attempt to formulate an ontological understanding of design as a set of articulations and modes of acting that manipulate the materiality of the world in order to re-direct and re-orient the possible ways of inhabiting, accessing and shaping the world. Such an understanding puts forward a way of approaching the question of politics in, of and for design that design and politics should be understood as a twofold embedded in one environment. This then has consequences both for design and for politics.

I argue that these consequences can be understood better through unfolding the political forms made possible by design as well as the material and designed forms that have become necessary given today’s political situation. By drawing on a series of examples, I will argue how design is already a political form and how politics is a form of material articulation. Such an understanding then gives shape to the recognition of the activities and forces that already exist in the world and sketches out possibilities of acting upon that recognition.

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