Designs for the Pluriverse

Designs for the Pluriverse : Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds

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In Designs for the Pluriverse Arturo Escobar presents a new vision of design theory and practice aimed at channeling design's world-making capacity toward ways of being and doing that are deeply attuned to justice and the Earth. Noting that most design-from consumer goods and digital technologies to built environments-currently serves capitalist ends, Escobar argues for the development of an "autonomous design" that eschews commercial and modernizing aims in favor of more collaborative and placed-based approaches. Such design attends to questions of environment, experience, and politics while focusing on the production of human experience based on the radical interdependence of all beings. Mapping autonomous design's principles to the history of decolonial efforts of indigenous and Afro-descended people in Latin America, Escobar shows how refiguring current design practices could lead to the creation of more just and sustainable social orders.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 15.24mm | 431g
  • North Carolina, United States
  • English
  • 3 figures
  • 0822371057
  • 9780822371052
  • 149,120

Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
I. Design for the Real World: But Which "World"? What "Design"? What "Real"?
1. Out of the Studio and into the Flow of Socionatural Life 25
2. Elements for a Cultural Studies of Design 49
II. The Ontological Reorientation of Design
3. In the Background of Our Culture: Rationalism, Ontological Dualism, and Relationality 79
4. An Outline of Ontological Design 105
III. Designs for the Pluriverse
5. Design for Transitions 137
6. Autonomous Design and the Politics of Relationality and the Communal 165
Conclusion 202
Notes 229
References 259
Index 281
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Review quote

"Designs for the Pluriverse is a heavy-hitting theoretical framework with potential to inform the practice of the design scholar or professional in any field, from planning or architecture to product design, engineering, and beyond. The work makes sense of generations of decolonial scholarship, pushing the reader towards understanding their design work as more relational, long-term-oriented, and transformative than previously assumed." -- Darien Williams * Carolina Planning Journal * "Escobar's literature review and theoretical discussion stand out. Some of the ground he covers includes critical design studies, ethnographic approaches to design, participatory design, and decolonized design. Anthropology has a lot to offer design, Escobar argues, because we study the interplay of materiality, meaning, and practice. . . . Escobar's discussion is built on a foundation of work emanating from a panopoly of Latin American scholars, all of whom appear to be fascinating in their own rights. . . . Through Escobar I felt like I was glimpsing the depth and breadth of that body of literature for the first time." -- Matt Thompson * Anthrodendum *
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About Arturo Escobar

Arturo Escobar is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
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Rating details

27 ratings
4.4 out of 5 stars
5 48% (13)
4 44% (12)
3 7% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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