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


#Milanuncut was a discussion kicked off by writers Marcus Fairs and Max Fraser who’d both heard and reported the anonymous grumblings of young designers at the level of work and payment they got for producing the prototypes that were being hyped during the festival. So with this tenuous link; I can post some images of designs around a cube whilst doing the maths to see what a young designer can hope to gain from going into production.

A wonderful tweeted interview by Max Fraser with Guido Cappellini included the percentage range a designer could expect in royalties from a work in production. A royalty payout is roughly between 1.5- 5% on the cost or wholesale price of an item, though I would think the bigger the designer the more flexibility there is in the percentage. So for and item that walks out of the shop at £100 the designer would take 60p – £2 using a mark-up on the cost price of 2.5 times. Its not a lot really is it. An anonymous designer complained that his last royalty cheque was for £600 “it won’t even cover half a months rent” (he obviously lives in London) But if a design takes off you could be gradually raking in the royalties for years and as you establish your name you won’t be relying on 1 or 2 products; some designers must have launched 10-15 products at Milan this year. But to really build up an income will take years of work and products with a long shelf life.

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