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news

Design Politics In Two Parts

by frank news
December 7, 2018

Revisiting the social and political implications and constructs of planning with Devin Bunten and Lawrence J. Vale.

1) A Sense of Where You Are by Devin Bunten

We can trace many of today’s social problems to the policies of the planners, developers, and homeowners who shaped the post-war development boom in US cities and suburbs.

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2) Lawrence J. Vale on Design Politics

I think a lot of people see the spatial aspects of power but stop short of talking about it in terms of actual built artifacts. There's of course Foucault looking back at Bentham’s Panopticon and finding relationships between knowledge and power and surveillance and things like that. But I've found that very few people who are interested in the phenomenon of power take the role of design particularly seriously. Similarly, a lot of the people who see themselves as designers don't necessarily want to be as explicitly involved in the politics as their work tends to force them to be.

Planners are focusing less and less on design, separating the physical from the social, but the physical is so important to every social question we ask.