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Reading the urban revolts and outbursts of irrational violence preceding and following the crisis of neoliberalism as sings of discontent and of a desire for alternative designs of the urban, Erik Swyngedouw reintroduces the idea of the (dead) polis as a space of political encounter. Techno-managerial policies of governing colonised the polis. Politics as dispute is replaced by the neoliberal, postdemocratic consensus. This condition, which designers of all kinds helped to shape, excludes disagreement and disavows conflict as the constitutive element of democratic politics.

 

For Swyngedouw, designing dissensus in the context of a post-political regime requires transgressing 'the fantasy that sustains the post-political order'. It would strive to redesign 'the urban as a democratic political field of dispute' and to produce 'common values and the collective oeuvre, the city'. While the city as polis may be dead, spaces of political engagement occur within the cracks, in between the meshes and the strange inter-locations that shape places that contest the police order. It is here that design, as a renewed political practice, can intervene.

 

The Civic City Cahier series intends to provide material for a critical discussion about the role of design for a new social city. It publishes short monographic texts by authors who specialise in urban and design theory and practice. The series is edited by Jesko Fezer and Matthias Görlich.



  • ISBN 978-1-907414-32-9

    From £2.99


Global cities (and their designs in particular) have rested on the paradigm of market-driven development, and have been interpreted as strategic spaces of neoliberal restructuring. Whilst they are now hit by the crisis of this ideology, the situation also offers the opportunity and necessity to imagine another, more social city. Yet designers continue to hold back criticism and proposals. It is, however, time to redefine the role of design for a social city and take action. What is the role of design in the production of urban space? Is it merely an element in the commodified colonisation of social spaces? Or are design and the visual and physical representations of urban issues themselves the key means by which a Civic City may be created from the ideological ruins of existing urban spaces? Jesko Fezer argues for a project of accommodating conflicts by design.

The Civic City Cahier series intends to provide material for a critical discussion about the role of design for a new social city. It publishes short monographic texts by authors who specialise in urban and design theory and practice. The series is edited by Jesko Fezer and Matthias Görlich.



  • ISBN 978-1-907414-33-6

    From £2.99


With contributions by Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Sean Dockray, Jakob Jakobsen, Nils Norman, Gregory Sholette and Ultra-red

Contestations brings together a range of artists, theorists and other practitioners to consider the state of education and learning in light of political struggle, institutional crisis and new media platforms. Focusing on creative experiments in education, Contestations seeks to instigate a conversation about the future direction of education that challenges existing academic models while examining possibilities for strategic intervention and self-organisation.

  • iOS colour ills; Kindle b/w ills

    ISBN 978-1-907414-36-7

    From £2.99


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