Design vs the Design Industry

I have just finished a new paper for the Studies in Emergent Order journal. I found the framework of emergence helpful in describing problems with design and ecological crisis. I am looking forward making the paper public, but for the moment all I can post is this abstract.

Design as an Emergent Order and ‘Tensions’ with the Market

As the professional practice of creating new products, buildings, services, infrastructure and communication, design manifests the creative vision of individual designers for solutions to meet human needs and desires. Design is an emergent order that evolves as the skills and capacities of designers change with new technology and communications practices. New cognitive and perceptual capacities enable a greater understanding of complexity, context and system dynamics creating the potential better solutions to contemporary problems. Yet despite emergent skills, designers are not able to effectively address contemporary problems due to ‘tensions’ with the emergent order of the market. Critically, ‘design’ is not the same as the ‘design industry’. This paper will describe design as an emergent order with a specific focus on communication design and the profound conflicts between this order and the market. This conflict results in distortions of knowledge and reason with severe consequences.

** I am using the word ‘tensions’ because this is the word used in the call for papers. In the context of my paper it is an extreme understatement.

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