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 survival

Creative survival – dealing with precarious working conditions
Are you concerned about your working life after graduation?
Is your financial uncertainty influencing your psychological well-being?
What support structures can we imagine in the face of the competitive job market?

With:
Carolina Bandinelli, Ph.D student in the Media and Communication Department at Goldsmiths College, working on precarity.
Bianca Elzenbaumer, Ph.D student in the Design Department at Goldsmiths College, investigating the relation between precarity, collaborative practice and the production of critically engaged work. She is part of the design collective Brave New Alps.
Adriana Eysler, cultural theorist teaching at London College of Communication. She graduated from the MA in Design Futures at Goldsmiths College.
Kirsten Forkert, artist, critic, activist and Ph.D student in the Media and Communication Department at Goldsmiths College. Her research is about artistic labour in relation to postindustrialism, as well as labour organising in the arts.
Vlad Morariu, philosopher and Ph.D student at Loughborough University. There he is an active member of the Politicized Practice Research Group and runs the open seminar ‘Art and the Artist in the Age of the Precariat.’

THINGS THAT CAME UP DURING THE SEMINAR

- the creative sector relies structurally on free labour, but work is being casualised in all sectors;
- we endure free labour in the believe to be rewarded with a creative career. What about those who can’t afford to do free labour?
- within the creative industries there seems to be an either or paradigm going on between stability and meaningful work;
- with our activities we are somewhere between self-actualisation and self-exploitation;
- we are trained for competition and still believe in the big myths of the creative industries: “the cream will rise to the top,” “if you don’t make it, it’s your fault”;
- we are made to believe that by entrepreneuralising our creativity we will make a difference in the world;
- is going freelance really a choice or are there simply any jobs out there?
- the unionisation within the creative industries is weak, can we find ways to bring unions to a contemporary level?
- a huge amount of creatives have no pension;
- grand parents pension schemes are funding young people;
- we often forget that in Western countries the whole economy is back up by the precarious labour of migrants;
- staying in London is tough, but how to go back home overqualified and to make work regionally that makes sense internationally?
- what kind of design field do we finally want to be part of?

Links:
Design on click – price dumping in the field of graphic design:

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Design for life with Philippe Stark – TV competition for a six month placement in Stark’s studio.