Provoking Change

From Beyond Social

  • Iris Schutten
  • Remko
  • Provokingchange.jpg

    Each editorial is a collection of different articles, carefully selected to emphasize a certain issue, topic or theme. More about editorials or explore the selected articles of this editorial.



    This issue of Beyond Social discusses different strategies of change in relation to current social issues. You are cordially invited to, from a designer perspective, compare your own practice with current innovations and theories in the field of social design and to address questions of change: what are our thoughts on how to bring about change as a designer or artist?

    As a social designer, we hope to make meaningful changes to the people and the environment for whom we are designing. There are different perspectives on how to initiate this change. According to Pascal Gielen (2011), some of these changes focus more on working with the power structures and trying to make a difference within the boundaries of the 'System World'. Others try to make a stance against the current power structures (Gielen, 2011).

    How do we ensure that the commons truly benefit from the changes we bring about, as opposed to the institutions? How do we cope with repressive liberalism, which is embodied in things like “Corporate Social Responsibility” and “Sustainability”? In other words, do we try to challenge system standards from the inside, do we pose an alternative system or do we take a radical position against the current system?

    Feel free to contribute by adding an article on Beyond Social!

    Selected articles

    Opening of the I'm Binckfestival. Photo Marc Heeman

    23 October 2018 19:47:29 by Rümeysa Önal

    To provoke change can be difficult as a placemaker. After each project you’ve finished you tend to look back and ask yourself; did it matter, did people understand the meaning of the project, did they see the value of the project and also important could I ‘capitalize’ that value, or knowledge, which isn’t always to be measured in ‘hard cash’?

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    André Schaminée

    30 October 2018 19:40:48 by Rümeysa Önal

    Social designers seek to bring about systemic change, but how often does their work actually succeed in changing the workflow and mindset of corporations or public institutions?

    WikiHouse, an open source house design and construction kit. It's aim is to allow anyone to design, download, and 'print' CNC-milled houses and components, which can be assembled with minimal formal skill or training.

    23 October 2018 19:28:43 by Rümeysa Önal

    An increasing number of designers see the formulation of a business model as a design challenge in itself. As a result of the financial crisis and ongoing social transitions, old certainties have become fluid and new business models are emerging: business models in which the basis of multiple value creation is provided by new and existing cash flows, local entrepreneurship, social capital, open networks, energy transition and new technologies. An increasing number of designers and artists play an important role in the development of these new business models.

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    Buitenplaats Brienenoord

    23 November 2017 21:08:40 by Iris Schutten

    Speak the language. Speak the language of different social groups, the language of the business world, the language of government. The language of the art world.

    If you do not speak the language of the person in front of you, you start with a disadvantage. And in social art, the person in front of you can be anybody.

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    Afaina de Jong Billboard House

    22 October 2018 19:32:23 by Rümeysa Önal

    The reason I selected this article is that Afaina's essay is entered around one of the important issues affecting social designers: public space and spatial inequality and hierarchies. As she writes, "this slow death of public space is a contributing factor in the growth of non-inclusive cities that lack social coherence and actual participation." It is essential that we think about this and actively fight for a more inclusive public space.

    Quote from a lecture of Rory Pilgrim, a social artist who really touched me with his words "what do we hope to become?" i hope: sustainable!

    24 January 2018 10:39:36 by A v ns

    An essay about provoking change with social design discussed in the topic of sustainability. It features an analysis of why a sustainable future is needed, where the problems come from and examples of projects aimed at creating one.

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    4 July 2018 20:15:31 by Iris Schutten

    “In the neighborhood of Delfshaven you'll find a social foundation under every street tile” according to Minister of Social Affairs Hugo de Jonge in his period as alderman in the city of Rotterdam. The area with 75.000 inhabitants is in terms of the neighborhood index (income, safety, etc) comparable to some the worst performing neighborhoods in the south of Rotterdam but with one major difference: It is -even compared to other national and European examples- exeptionally rich in citizens initiatives. The hell is going on there in the west of Rotterdam? And what role do social designers play in these networks?

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