Track 2.d Introduction: Power and Politics in Design for Transition
Keywords:Power and Politics, Design for Transition, Politics
This track sought to contribute to design’s potential to shift, redirect and transform power relations to achieve sustainability. We sought to direct attention to the political potential in and politics of transition design with a focus on the many ways that power flows through the systems in which design operates. Our intention was to address, directly, the commentary from the DRS2018 track on Designing for Transitions, which noted that authors had tended to “stay on the safe and perhaps conventional side” of the subject. Instead, we hoped that the papers in this track would address “‘politicised issues such as migration, decoloniality, the politics of climate change mitigation… and other complex and controversial problems” (Boehnert et al. 2018) that must be considered in planning and implementation of ongoing sustainability transitions. The politics of design transitions remains marginal in design research. With our call, we hoped to receive contributions that problematised design’s current roles and conceptualised new roles for design in the context of sustainability transitions to attend to issues related to how power is and should be dealt with.