Keynote Lecture

Politics of Design: Manufacturing the “Undeveloped Peoples”

Design and Authority
4T Design and Design History Conference
May 2–4 2019, İzmir, Turkey

Prof. Alison J. Clarke

Further information

In the early 1960s, leading design schools in the United States embraced for the first time an overt Cold War pedagogic strategy, under the title “design for the undeveloped peoples”. This lecture explores how design took on a new authority during this period, in which urban black Americans, the Global South and the working class rural poor were conflated as one homogenised problem that only industrial design could resolve. As part of the ‘Design And Authority’ Conference, Izmir, 2019, the lecture asks how much this legacy persists in the practices of contemporary social design.

image © University of the Applied Arts, Papanek Foundation