Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Design as Symbolic Violence:
Reproducing the ‘isms’
presented at:
DRS2016: Design + Research + Society: Future-Focused Thi...
Design as Manipulation
Design as Emancipation
Contents
1. 	Design as symbolic violence
2. 	Reproducing the ‘isms’
•	Racism
•	Sexism
•	Classism
•	Ecoism
3. 	Addressing t...
1. Design as symbolic violence
•	The concept of symbolic violence was
introduced by Pierre Bourdieu in Distinction: A
Social Critique of the Judgement of...
“a gentle violence, imperceptible and
invincible even to its victims, exerted for
the most part through the purely symboli...
“The effects are embodied in “bodies
and minds by long collective labour of
socialization” 						(Bourdieu 2001, 3)
“exert...
“It is through processes of symbolic violence
that power imbalances are naturalized: “The
most intolerable conditions of e...
Anthropologist Juris Milestone described designers as
experts in subjectivity who create “order by manufacturing
certain s...
2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Racism
2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Racism
2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Sexism
‘The World is Designed for Men: how bias is built into our daily lives’. A Blind by Design project.
2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Classism
The D&AD New Blood Brief ‘Rebrand the City’ written asks student to
Rebrand the City because ‘the City is vital to our eco...
2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Ecoism
Hopenhagen was an initiative by the
International Advertising Association in
support of the United Nations at the UN
Clima...
3. Addressing the ‘isms’ in + by design: a framework for design
This workshop is held in conjunction with
CLIMACTIC: POST-...
3. Addressing the ‘isms’ in + by design: a framework for design
APPROPRIATING
ALLYING
ERASURE
(DISPRESNTING)
REVEALING
(PRESNTING)
Indviduals Groups Cultures
Unconscious
Conscious
Uncons...
References
BBC (2009) Crisis ‘cost us $10, 000 each’. Available at: http://news.bbc. co.uk/2/hi/business/8248434.stm
Boehn...
#symbolicviolence
Dr. Joanna Boehnert
CREAM University of Westminster - @EcoLabs + @Ecocene
Dr. Bianca Elzenbaumer
Leeds C...
Design as Symbolic Violence
Design as Symbolic Violence
Design as Symbolic Violence
Design as Symbolic Violence
Design as Symbolic Violence
Design as Symbolic Violence
Design as Symbolic Violence
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Design as Symbolic Violence

3,599 views

Published on

Design embeds ideas in communication, artifacts and spaces in subtle and psychologically powerful ways. Feminist, class, race and indigenous scholars and activists describe how oppressions (how patriarchy, racism, colonialism, etc.) exist within institutions and also within cultural practices. The theory of symbolic violence sheds light on how design can function to naturalise oppressions and then obfuscate power relations around this process. Through symbolic violence, design can function as an enabler for the exploitation of certain groups of people and the environment they (and ultimately ‘we’) depend on to live. Design functions as symbolic violence when it is involved with the creation and reproduction of ideas, practices, processes and tools that result in structural and other types of violence (including ecocide).

Presentation and conversation at the Design Research Society 2016's Design + Research + Society: Future Focused Thinking conference. The University of Brighton. UK and then again at the Decolonising Design group’s Intersectional Perspectives on Design, Politics and Power at Malmo University in November 2016.

by
Dr. Joanna Boehnert, Research Fellow in Design, CREAM, University of Westminster + EcoLabs
Dr. Bianca Elzenbaumer, Research Fellow in Design, Leeds College of Art + Brave New Alps
Dimeji Onafuwa, PhD candidate, Carnegie Mellon University

Published in: Design
  • Be the first to comment

Design as Symbolic Violence

  1. 1. Design as Symbolic Violence: Reproducing the ‘isms’ presented at: DRS2016: Design + Research + Society: Future-Focused Thinking, University of Brighton, June 2016 + Intersectional Perspectives on Design, Politics and Power. Malmo University, Nov. 2016 #symbolicviolence Dr. Joanna Boehnert CREAM University of Westminster - @EcoLabs + @Ecocene Dr. Bianca Elzenbaumer Leeds College of Art @BraveNewAlps Dimeji Onafuwa Carnegie Mellon University - @Casajulie
  2. 2. Design as Manipulation Design as Emancipation
  3. 3. Contents 1. Design as symbolic violence 2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ • Racism • Sexism • Classism • Ecoism 3. Addressing the ‘isms’ in + by design: a framework for design allies
  4. 4. 1. Design as symbolic violence
  5. 5. • The concept of symbolic violence was introduced by Pierre Bourdieu in Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (1979, translated in 1984). • The sociological research documented in this book attempted to attempt to understand how class power and social inequity are reproduced at cultural and social levels. • Boudiew focused on ‘taste’ and conducted a survey of 1217 subjects between 1963-68 in France. Subjects were asked about their tastes in art, design, decor, music, etc.
  6. 6. “a gentle violence, imperceptible and invincible even to its victims, exerted for the most part through the purely symbolic channels of communication and cognition (or more precisely, miscognition), recognition, or even feeling.” (Bourdieu 2001, 2)
  7. 7. “The effects are embodied in “bodies and minds by long collective labour of socialization” (Bourdieu 2001, 3) “exerted not in the pure logic of knowing consciousness but through the schemes of perception” (Bourdieu 2001, 37)
  8. 8. “It is through processes of symbolic violence that power imbalances are naturalized: “The most intolerable conditions of existence can often be perceived as acceptable and even natural” (Bourdieu 2001, 1)
  9. 9. Anthropologist Juris Milestone described designers as experts in subjectivity who create “order by manufacturing certain subjectivities” (2007b, 175). Design disciplines the public by encouraging social hierarchies where people distinguish themselves with their ‘good’ taste and commitment to quality (2007b, 178). Design not only drives consumer desire but “can work to depoliticize war, technology, architecture, consumerism and globalization” (2007a, 96) by virtue of its aesthetic appeal and sophisticated grasp of cultural ideas.
  10. 10. 2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Racism
  11. 11. 2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Racism
  12. 12. 2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Sexism
  13. 13. ‘The World is Designed for Men: how bias is built into our daily lives’. A Blind by Design project.
  14. 14. 2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Classism
  15. 15. The D&AD New Blood Brief ‘Rebrand the City’ written asks student to Rebrand the City because ‘the City is vital to our economy’ (2012) and : The World has changed, and the City of London has no decent PR. But we need the City to work – for our livelihoods, our savings and our student loans. Rebrand the City, and create a global campaign to showcase it to the world (D&AD 2012).
  16. 16. 2. Reproducing the ‘isms’ - Ecoism
  17. 17. Hopenhagen was an initiative by the International Advertising Association in support of the United Nations at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-15) in Copenhagen December 2009. Hopenhagen took the form of an international public relations campaign culminating with an installation in the public square in central Copenhagen during the COP-15 summit.
  18. 18. 3. Addressing the ‘isms’ in + by design: a framework for design This workshop is held in conjunction with CLIMACTIC: POST-NORMAL DESIGN exhibition at Miller Gallery. We encourage all workshop participants to see the show. WORKSHOP + CONVERSATION WITH TEJU COLE PRIVILEGED PARTICIPATION ALLYINGWITHDECOLONIALITY INADIFFICULTCLIMATE 11.7.20164PM MMH ROOM 215 (GRADUATE STUDIO) SCHOOL OF DESIGN: MARGARET MORRISON BUILDING CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY rsvp: eventbrite.com/pp Author of Known and StrangeThings and Open City
  19. 19. 3. Addressing the ‘isms’ in + by design: a framework for design
  20. 20. APPROPRIATING ALLYING ERASURE (DISPRESNTING) REVEALING (PRESNTING) Indviduals Groups Cultures Unconscious Conscious Unconscious Conscious Unconscious Conscious Unconscious Conscious Unconscious Conscious Unconscious Conscious Unconscious Conscious Unconscious Conscious Unconscious Conscious To Resist Indvidual Oppression Institutional Oppression Cultural Oppression inspired by: www.socialdesignpathways.com Allying With 3. Addressing the ‘isms’ in + by design: a framework for design
  21. 21. References BBC (2009) Crisis ‘cost us $10, 000 each’. Available at: http://news.bbc. co.uk/2/hi/business/8248434.stm Boehnert, J., Elzenbaumer, B. & Onafuwa, D. (2016) Design as Symbolic Violence: Addressing the ‘isms’, [conversation documentation] DRS2016 Design + Research + Society: Future-focused thinking, Brighton: Design Research Society, UK June 2016. Boehnert, J. (2017- upcoming). Design/Ecology/Politics, London: Bloomsbury. Boehnert, J. Bourdieu. P. (2010). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, Translated by Nice, R., London: Routledge. Bourdieu. P. (2001). Masculine Domination, Translated by Nice, R., London: Polity. Bourdieu, P. (1989). Social Space and Symbolic Power. Sociological theory, 7(1), 14-25. Crawford, K. (2016). Artificial intelligence’s white guy problem. New York Times Sunday Review, 25 June. D&AD. (2012) D&AD Student Awards 2012. A brief to rebrand the financial district of London. The City. (no longer online). European Commission (2012) “She Figures 2012: Gender in Research and Innovation”, Statistics and Indicators. Haraway, D. J. (1991) “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective”, in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge. Harding, S. (1991) Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking from Women’s Lives. Buckingham: Open University Press. Milestone, J. (2007a) Universities, Cities, Design and Development: An Anthropology of Aesthetic Expertise. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Department of Anthropology, Temple University. Milestone, J. (2007b) ‘Design as Power: Paul Virilio and the Governmentality of Design Expertise’. Culture, Theory and Critique. 48:2, 175 – 198. National Audit Office (NAO) (no date) Taxpayer support for UK banks: FAQs. Onafuwa, D., Bloom, J. & Cole, T. (2016) ‘Privileged Participation: Allying with Decoloniality in a Difficult Climate’, [workshop] Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design.
  22. 22. #symbolicviolence Dr. Joanna Boehnert CREAM University of Westminster - @EcoLabs + @Ecocene Dr. Bianca Elzenbaumer Leeds College of Art @BraveNewAlps Dimeji Onafuwa Carnegie Mellon University - @Casajulie

×