This chapter draws on two initiatives situated in Thailand and Cambodia, inspired by strength-based capacity building approaches known as ‘asset-based community development’ (ABCD) and ‘Appreciative inquiry’ (Ai). Our approach challenges western-centric conceptions of equality in participatory design and novelty in creative process. In Cambodia, a failed experiment with bamboo furniture led to the re-evaluation of welfare safety nets and sustainable social arrangements.
This chapter extends upon the book's discussions of habit to the process of adapting to anthropogenically induced global warming. We reveal the role of designed practices, products and infrastructures in habituating urban populations to a changing climate. Our central concern is the ‘world within the world’ design has helped to create. In the rapidly densifying city, atmospheric commons are shaped and reshaped by human design; climate change is lived and felt in hostile heat islands and polluted, particulate-laden city air.
Many designers today (including ourselves) are experimenting with how their practice can engage in meaningful ways with the complexity of pressing social and environmental issues. Being very much concerned with the politics and power relations that run through such issues, in this paper we will explore what points of orientation the framework of the ‘commons’ and that of ‘community economies’ – seen from an autonomist and feminist Marxist perspective – can offer when working on socially and politically engaged projects.
This practice-based research sets out to investigate and intervene in the tense relation between the production of socially as well as politically relevant design work and the socio-economic precariousness many designers experience. Starting from an engagement with the precarious working conditions of designers, their genealogy over the last 30+ years and the role precarisation plays in forming docile creative subjects, the research moves on to a wider critique of the political economy and of its precarising value practices.
What does it mean to be at home in a hot city? One response is to shut our doors
and close ourselves in a cocoon of air-conditioned thermal comfort. As the climate
warms, indoor environments facilitated by technical infrastructures of cooling are
fast becoming the condition around which urban life is shaped. The price we pay for
this response is high: our bodies have become sedentary, patterns of consumption
individualized, and spaces of comfortable mobility and sociality in the city, termed