Designing Economic Cultures is a research project that sets out to investigate the relationship between socio-economic precarity and the production of socially and politically engaged design projects.

The fundamental question the project poses is:
how can designers, who through their work want to question and challenge the prevalent economic system, gain a satisfying degree of social and economic security without having to submit themselves to the commercial pressures of the market?  Read more ›

Construction site for non-affirmative practice

Constructive Dismantling

My Castle Is Your Castle

A tavola con… – conversations over lunch with Alberto Bassi, Antonella Bulegato, Giovanni Anceschi, Stefano Maffei

During this series of informal encounters, organised by AUT and Filiera in the context of the project Quisai, different design historians, design theorists and design tutors joined the Construction site for informal discussions over lunch around the interactions between design and production in Italy.

The strengthening of the globalised economy has favoured the introduction of a variety of mechanisms of production, distribution and consumption of artefacts that are foremost oriented towards the appreciation of a certain product through the production of symbolic – and often fictitious – imaginaries.

Often, in the process of construction of the communication and distribution dynamics, the history of the life cycle of the single object is left aside. This life cycle, constituted by the design and production processes and the following use of the object, especially in Italy has its roots in the convergence of territorial and social interactions. These interactions lay at the base of the conception and realisation of the object.


– Is it possible to identify perspectives, outline scenarios, and promote proposals that constitute a deviation from the dynamics that currently regulate the system of design-production-distribution-consumption of common objects in Italy?

– Is it possible to give again an active role to the single actors that are part of this system?

Text by Francesca Coluzzi

Alberto Bassi & Antonella Bulegato

Giovanni Anceschi

Stefano Maffei

Images: Manuel Guadagnini

We thank Stefano Capodieci for the delicious food he has prepared for us!