Welcome!

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

Creative and precarious

Creative and precarious – exploring designerly working conditions
How are insecure working arrangements in the cultural industries theorised?
What are the general symptoms of precarity creatives need to deal with?
Where to go from here?

With:
Bridget Conor, lecturer at the Culture, Media and Creative Industries Department at King’s College London. Her research interests are at the intersection of screen production studies and critical creative labour studies. Her doctoral research, undertaken at Goldsmiths College, focused on screenwriting as creative labour in the UK.

THINGS THAT CAME UP DURING THE SEMINAR

- precariousness, precarity, precariat as neologisms that can be seen as critical tools in themselves as they help to create awareness and solidarity among workers;
- living and working conditions that are without guarantees are called precarious;
- the work of creatives can be labelled as immaterial labour as it “produces the informational and cultural content of the commodity” (Lazzarato, 1996: 113);
- creative work comes often with long hours and bulimic patterns of work;
- although the remuneration of creative workers is often poor, they got a passionate attachment to the work they do;
- networking and hanging out are compulsory elements of the creative entrepreneur and ask for a huge amount of emotional investment;
- creatives have profound experiences of insecurity and anxiety about finding work, earning enough money and ‘keeping up’;
- due to the structure of the creative industries there are a large amount of inequalities going on (gender, ethnicity, region, family income);
- working on creating a critical awareness of precarity in the field of design;
- being aware that we have internalized a lot of the factors that make us accept precarity as a given;
- bringing the issues of precarity into your practice;
- starting to think about precarious working conditions already during your studies in order to think of counter-strategies;
- connect our particular experiences with common experiences;

Links:
Mute Magazine – for activist writings on precarity
Almanac of Precariomancy
Carrotworkers’ Collective
Precarious Workers Brigade