’DESIGN ACT Socially and politically engaged design today – critical roles and emerging tactics’ is a new book that presents and discusses contemporary design practices that engage with political and societal issues. Since 2009, the Iaspis project DESIGN ACT has been highlighting and discussing practices, in which designers have been engaging critically as well as practically in such issues. Itself an example of applied critical thinking and experimental tactics, the process behind the DESIGN ACT project is considered as a curatorial, participatory and open-ended activity. DESIGN ACT has developed through a website with an online archive; public seminars; presentations and installations.
The book is a final and complimentary part of the project, produced by Iaspis, published by Sternberg Press and edited by the founders of the DESIGN ACT project, Magnus Ericson and Ramia Mazé.
“…The project was developed as an experiment that explored methods of identifying, presenting and discussing examples of design and architectural practice. It was set up to operate through an international network of contributors, an emerging on-line archive and a series of public events. This publication is to be seen as the last part of the project, that originally wasn’t supposed to have a definitive end, and merely as a complimentary part to the archive. We wanted to create a format where we could go back to the archive, deepen and add to certain parts of the content, but also to highlight, reflect upon and connect issues related to a set of questions we formulated when starting the projects: WHAT are examples of these movements (practitioners and projects)? WHERE does it take place and in what contexts (sites and situations)? HOW does it happen and what does it take (methods and tactics)? The structure of this book is built up around the same questions, forming three sections with similar titles…” –– from the editors’ introduction
‘WHAT are examples of these movements?’ Contemporary and historical writings, including reprints of ‘Suicidal Desires’ (from the book Superstudio: Life Without Objects, by Peter Lang and William Menking) and ‘Designer as Author’ (from the book Design Noir by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby), historical reflections by Helena Mattsson and Christina Zetterlund and an interview with Doina Petrescu (FR) by Ramia Mazé.
‘HOW does it happen and what does it take?’ A substantial analysis of the tactics and methods of the examples of projects featured in the DESIGN ACT archive, by Ramia Mazé and Natasha Marie Llorens.
‘WHERE does it happen and in what contexts?’ A broad perspective on practice from institutions, education and research to new forms of practitioner initiated projects: Interviews with Pelin Derviş (TK), Joseph Grima (IT/US), Ou Ning (CH), Meike Schalk (SE/DE), Yanki Lee (UK), Ana Betancour (SE), Otto von Busch (SE), Mauricio Carbalan (AR) and Tor Lindstrand (SE), by Magnus Ericson.
The book also includes descriptions of 36 projects from the DESIGN ACT archive by: A+URL, Camilla Andersson, Anti-Advertising Agency, Jon Ardern and Benedict Singleton, atelier d’architecture autogéréé, Otto von Busch, Constant in collaboration with Recyclart, City Mine(d) and Speculoos, Dunne & Raby, eskyiu, Fantastic Norway, Aslı Kıyak İngin and Teike Asselbergs, International Festival with Front, Natalie Jeremijenko and the xClinic staff, Yanki Lee with Paula Dib, live|work, m7red, MINE, muf, New Beauty Council, Josh On, Marjetica Potrč and STEALTH in collaboration with A5 Arkitekter, Michael Rakowitz, Raumlaborberlin, Hannah le Roux, School of Missing Studies / Centrala – Foundation for Future Cities, Stalker, Think Public, UnSworn Industries, Zoom Architecture