Deleuze Connections Series
Edimburgh University Press
Series editor Ian Buchanan
What might emerge from an encounter between Deleuze and design? From a Deleuzian mapping of the relays between and blockages of the flows of theory and practice? Where the practices of design and philosophy can creatively affect each other?
Deleuze and Design is the first book to interrogate the theory and practice of design through the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Beginning with an investigation of how the field of design is currently mutating, this book suggests an open-ended definition of design reflecting design’s own entanglement with the practice of ‘making worlds’ and ‘creating futures’. Taken as a force, a disruption and a process, design will be examined insofar as it is the material expression of possible worlds.
Whether products or scenarios, packaging or experiences, objects or digital platforms, services or territories, organizations and strategies, design is here taken in its broadest sense as a profoundly disruptive force, constituted in the multiform entanglement of practices, discourses, industry agendas, lifestyles and behaviours, thus optimally positioned to offer a stringent critique of how the emergence of complex relationships between human and non human agencies elicit affects, tells stories and ultimately make us think by doing.
To design means always to engage with what is not-yet but could be. To design means to engage with the new, the possible, the potential. Design is not however a mere matter of futureforecasting or problem-solving. Rather, it is about turning imagination into reality. Thus, the present emerges as the embodiment of a thought. Design possesses an extraordinary quality: it is project that keeps on designing, it keeps on giving visible, tangible shape to the material world we inhabit.
Every designed object contains in itself the seeds of future practices and future behaviours.
Furthermore, design as a targeted expressive and creative act is constantly crossing the boundary between chaos and equilibrium in its drive to partiality and critique.
Can we investigate and reconceptualise design’s own prehension into the future with Deleuze’s theoretical corpus? What are the tensions between a creative philosophy intended as the practice of creating new concepts and the practice, discourse and theory of design as the field not simply of innovation but of the creation of the future? What can the principles and practices of design offer a material philosophy of partial critique?
Deleuze’s formidable thought can be taken on board by design, not as a fulminous theoretical fad to be shortly outmoded, but as a slow releasing arsenal of tools to think with, and to inform, the process of thing-making. Ideas on the relations between the actual and the virtual, the becoming else of matter, the material realities of expressing a creative, critical position, the mapping of horizontal networks of strategic opportunities and the affects elicited by the utterly relational kinship of bodies and objects, all can benefit by a reconceptualization based on Deleuze’s philosophy.
In particular, Deleuze’s idea that philosophy is creative and revolutionary precisely because it is always creating new concepts deeply resonates with the demands and the agenda of design, always engaged with thinking about the not-yet. Even more pertinent to design is Deleuze’s affirmation that new concepts should be both necessary and unfamiliar, as well as being a response to real problems.
If to design means always to engage with the making of the new, design then is a powerful perspective on the future, a lens through which we can catch a glimpse of what is not-yet but might, could be. Indeed, for some design theorists we have a future only by design (Fry 2009). But design is not only a reality-building, world-making project. It is also a vector intersecting a multiplicity of other forces–political, economical, social, cultural, experiential, institutional–and as a force it participates to the construction of the future. It is not the future in itself but participates in its creation; it is not an event in itself but participates in its generation.
A (by no means exhaustive) list of possible topics:
• Designing systems
• Designing experiences
• Design as social innovation/social enterprise
• A Deleuzian take on critical/speculative design
• Relationship with objects/status of object? assemblage
• Deleuze and design research
• Design and the future
• Design and becoming/the becoming of design
• A Deleuzian account of prototypying
• The ethic role of designers
• Design as social practice
• Design and sustainability
• Design and…and…and.. a new paradigm to think at design with
• Design of embodiment
• Design of subjectivity
• Conceptual design. Design thinking
• Design as a political agenda
• Design and posthumanism, a new paradigm to think things with
• Design and circulation, monitoring and capture of affect
• Design and control
• Design pedagogy
• Design and inter/trans/infradisciplinarity
• Design, disruption & partial critique
• Creative networks
Paper proposals may be submitted to
Betti Marenko b.ma...@csm.arts.ac.uk by 23rd March 2012.
Proposals should include CV, contact information, and a preliminary abstract of 300 words or less.
Full papers by 23rd August 2012
Dr Betti Marenko
Contextual Studies Leader, BA (Hons.)
Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design
University of the Arts, London
+44(0)20 7514 7102
Dr Jamie Brassett FHEA FRSA
MA Course Director & Subject Leader
The Innovation Centre
Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design
University of the Arts London
+44(0)20 7514 7907
March 20th, 2012 - 10:54am