The necessity of Socially Engaged Design

Still at the level of ‘meaning’ construction in design – but I am inserting the notion of ‘manifesto’ – and archaic term much loved by students.

Moon Base, Victor Papanek and the necessity of Socially Engaged Design « Design Research Group

Naturally there’s much to disagree with Papanek, if not in his overall argument, then in the detail. For example, it’s difficult to see how consumerist design can be modified very rapidly. In later books his proscriptions, particularly in the area of societal structures become a little arcane (for example he goes someway along the path Rudolf Bahro and other deep Greens went with regard to dismantling current society into much smaller self contained units – ideas I’d not necessarily entirely disagree with but find difficult to believe will be implemented any time soon). But on the other if he provides me with a justification for Moon Base…


We are committed to the development of a discourse for a socially engaged design practice that seeks to address the complex and contradictory role designers play as cultural producers in capitalist societies.


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