Design Culture Salon 5 — How Does Design Produce New Publics?

Tuesday 30 April, 1900h-2030h
Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, V&A
How does design produce new publics?

Adam Drazin (University College London)
Lorraine Gamman and Adam Thorpe (Central St Martins)
Joe Harrington (Innovation Unit)
Noortje Marres (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Jana Scholze (V&A)

If, according to Bourdieu, designers are ‘cultural intermediaries’ who undertake ‘needs production’, how are these linked? How might designers create new social practices? Is this merely a commercial strategy (as in ‘brand communities’)? What role does open design or co-creation have in this process? How does the material function in such a process?

Free, but booking is essential:


Adam Drazin is an anthropologist who works on design and with designers. He obtained his PhD in anthropology at UCL in 2001, on the material culture of care in Romania. For the last three years, he has been lecturing in Ireland at Trinity College Dublin on themes including material culture, globalisation and migration, gender and the home. Adam is runs the MA programme in Culture, Materials and Design at University College London. See

Lorraine Gamman and Adam Thorpe direct Design Against Crime at Central St Martin’s, University of the Arts, London. This unit takes a social innovation approach via practice-led design to reducing the incidence and adverse consequences of crime through products, services, communications and environments. They are authors of several related books and articles and frequent conference speakers. Adam Thorpe is a Reader at CSM and runs the Vexed Generation design partnership. Lorraine Gamman is Professor in Design Studies at CSM and recently has been researching design issues linked to public space raised by street furniture design and graffiti, as well as street urination and other social design issues.

Joe Harrington has experience working as a service design consultant across the public sector, leading projects from social research with vulnerable groups to transformation work at the service delivery, strategic, organisational and policy levels. He is a partner at the Innovation Unit and co-leads the service design practice. Before this he was leading the public sector work at Engine for several years before working with both Participle and Uscreates. He has led projects with organisations including; developing a collaborative commissioning framework and culture change programme for Lambeth PCT; generating an innovative model to support complex families in Bucks and a range of design led work across the NHS and Local Authorities.

Noortje Marres is Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process at Goldsmiths, University of London. Much of her recent work is on object-centred approaches to participation, which seek to appreciate the role of things, settings and environments in the organisation of publics. Noortje has collaborated with designers on various occasions, most recently, during her project Issue Mapping Online ( and the ESRC-funded project Designing Energy Communities (ECDC). Her book Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics was published last summer.

Jana Scholze is Curator of Contemporary Furniture and Product Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She is author of Medium Ausstellung: Lektüren musealer Gestaltungen in Oxford, Leipzig, Amsterdam und Berlin and exhibitions reviews editor for the journal Design and Culture.

Guy Julier, University of Brighton Principal Research Fellow in Contemporary Design, will be chairing.

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1 Response to Design Culture Salon 5 — How Does Design Produce New Publics?

  1. Pingback: Design & Publics at Design Culture Salon, V&A

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