Cluster 2

A Working Inventory of Things a Designer Should Know, Danah Abdulla

Design thinking has created divisions in the field: either designers are too theory-driven or simply practitioners. Those feeling lost can easily turn to a language meant to inspire creative production in easy to pitch ways, where rhetoric uses design to keep power at bay, to celebrate hegemonic beliefs that are used to indoctrinate designers in bad education, incapable of imagining different futures. If you take away the post-its, the A3 papers, and the markers, can designers think? Led by Antonio Gramsci’s advice that knowing thyself requires compiling an inventory, design critic, educator, and researcher Danah Abdulla pays tribute to the late architect, activist, and critic Michael Sorkin, whose original list Two Hundred and Fifty Things an Architect Should Know inspired this updated version targeted at designers. Described as a guidebook/notebook of things designers should think about in order for them to know, this talk will discuss the iterative list – which is not meant to be a definitive how-to guide, but to spark conversations, prompt critical thinking, and to help designers reconfigure their discipline. — This activity is part of the interdisciplinary research programme in art, architecture, and design of transformation and politics, presented by maat in partnership with COW – Centre for Other Worlds, Research Centre in Design and Art, Lusófona University.

exemplo 1

Design Capital is the title of a book series that expose challenging and critical long-form essays about fundamental structures sustaining the design field. The books hijack a term that reflects the power struggles and quests for control and hegemony happening in design discourse and practice, and the politics that they embed and reproduce. Formed by five immersive, critical volumes, Design Capital aims at rigorously questioning the foundations of the field, as well as opening space for marginalised worlds within it.

It starts with a question, perhaps a passing interest. Design takes over a city, with clutters of exhibitions in galleries and disused spaces working loosely in response. New biennials and festivals and weeks emerge every year. Old events happen again simply because they happened before. What is it that these events and their predictable patterns actually achieve, though?For almost 200 years, continuing a line of thought first started by events like the Great Exhibition, ‘design events’ have become more and more popular across Europe, tangling around local, national, and international politics and economics. But can design be important or meaningful at this kind of scale? And how do these events act on people and places — as well as on the discipline itself? With the pause that the pandemic offers, is this the moment to examine who and what they exclude, taking the time to imagine what they could be instead?


Details: Author, Hannah Ellis; Editors, Francisco Laranjo, Luiza Prado and Silvio Lorusso; 190 x 155 mm, 64pp; Publisher Onomatopee.
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