“Politics Please, We’re Social Designers” by Cameron Tonkinwise

Testi — October 30, 2012

Via: http://www.core77.com/blog/featured_items/politics_please_were_social_designers_by_cameron_tonkinwise__17284.asp

Un articolo di Tonkinwise su come spesso in quello che si chiama “social design” viene a mancare una posizione politica presa coscientemente che possa effettivamente contribuire a cambiare o migliorare le cose.

Being ethical, in order to avoid politics, is a political position.

Ethics is often considered distinct from politics. Politicians seem to be only rarely ethical, and being ethical is often a good way of transcending politics. If I use my design skills to help the needy, then I am perhaps excused from having to declare who I vote for, let alone having to canvas for them. Social innovation by design can appear to be doubly avoiding of more conventional political positioning because not only is it ethically minded—what is being innovated are ways of improving the social good—but it is also based on initiatives by the people in those communities of needs—it is innovation for the ‘social’ by the ‘social’; the designer can claim to be just the apolitical doula to people helping themselves.

However, what happens if design-based social innovation is not just a way of avoiding conventional, explicit politics, but a way of undermining politics altogether? What if scaling up existing innovations with redesign is not just about helping people temporarily frustrated with the inertial cowardice of elected representatives, but a way to make more or less permanently redundant the need for any government to find a way to negotiate political responses to current crises?

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