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

The Counter-Internship Guide

The Counter-Internship Guide – don’t be a competitive intern, be a collective intern and learn
Do you fear that you will need to work for free after graduation?
What do you think you may get out of working for free?
How can we imagine an internship otherwise?

The Carrot Workers’ Collective, a London-based group of ex-interns, students, researchers and cultural workers, mainly from the creative and cultural sectors who regularly meet to think together around the conditions of free labour in contemporary societies. The collective has undertaken a participatory action research around voluntary work, internship, job placements and compulsory free work in order to understand the impact they have on material conditions of existence, life expectations and sense of self, together with their implications in relation to education, life long training, exploitation, and class interest.
Hato Press, a London-based platform offering affordable printing to designers, artists, illustrators, writers, scientists, etc., thus giving them the possibility to publish their own work.


– within free labour there are a variety of complex positions;
– the carrot as a useful metaphor for our ambitions that can easily be instrumentalised;
– many find themselves pressured to do a (free) internship simply to “get the foot in the door”;
– there is the notion that you got to sacrifice yourself in order to get a career;
– with the Bologna process, free internships have become compulsory and legitimated within higher education;
– unpaid internships are actually illegal; therefore many positions are now advertised as “volunteering”;
– before doing an internship, it is useful to consider what you want to get out of it, who you would actually want to support with your labour (and your parents money paying for your living), how do you intent to monitor your experience?
– can we claim rights within the structure or think of a counter-system?

Carrotworker’s Collective
Rights for interns

Intern Nation by Ross Perlin, 2011