Call for Workshop Proposals, Design Research for Change, Chiba University, JAPAN, 1 to 2 July 2019

21st January 2019

Does Design Care…?

The challenges in care systems have become intractable. There have been divide and conquer approaches to responsibility and accountability in care that act to cripple our ability to engage with the thoughtful and systemic approaches that design offers. Imagination has been cauterised by a risk-averse, Neo-liberal culture – the same culture that also profits enormously from turning care into a transaction. Therefore, we propose the following four conditions for the design of possible futures:

  • We call the first condition “Care of Complexity” – to design-with-care being sensitive and responsive to the boundaries between human and non-human (e. artefacts, animals, nature), local, global, and temporal contexts, and the value in both the commonality and diversity in post-global, post-national, and post-individual contexts.
  • The second condition is “Care of the Project” – to design-with-care acknowledging the complex network of relationships between the material and immaterial, and challenging the dichotomy between human and non-human worlds. To achieve this, the design must shift its existing paradigm and lead fundamental shifts in other disciplines.
  • The third condition is “Care of Relations” – to design-with-care asserting that people today must repair, instead of cutting off, the relationship between people, things, environments, and ecology, not only to maintain a good balance but also to emphasise the interdependence between these entities.
  • The fourth condition about the future of care and care for the future that we have to live with is “Care of Carelessness”. We are inevitably careless, and we need to be careful about our carelessness. To be care-full, care cannot be designed efficiently (e.g. into a service). Care must remain distinctive from commerce… and care cannot be an optional extra.


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