Activating Design Social

Research output: Journal article publicationEditorial


Does the social turn in design enable transformative change in design and society? Or is it incremental change, where design confirms existing social systems with little impact? Many claims for design social have been made, often underpinned by the altruism of doing good and social engagement. The recent popularity of social design, design activism, service design, co-design, and commoning, show design as conjoined to other disciplines, but to what end? What role does design play within dialogical pairings? Does the socialising of design diffuse the agency of design to the social sciences? As we interrogate and define, conceptually and in praxis, the hybridisation of two different domains, there is a need to critically engage the question of how to define ways in which design social can become an impactful, rather simply than a consensual, confirmation. In addition this enquiry is to seek out how design social can lead to transformative moments within design practice that impacts design methodologies, social structures and its agencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-171
Number of pages19
JournalCubic Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Design Social: Technology | Activism | Anti-Social


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