Week 27: Design Studio for Social Intervention


Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with some of the initiators of the Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI).

Founded in 2005, DS4SI is a creativity lab for social justice work, a space for artists, activists, teachers and other social interventionists to reframe and reinvigorate the possibilities of the non-profit sector. Design studios are typically places where companies develop innovative products. In this case, it’s a place where progressive organizations within the non profit sector develop inventive practices to address real social problems. To do that, DS4SI borrows methodologies from design practices and implements them in unconventional and innovative ways. DS4SI brings together urban designers, cultural architects, community activists, game designers, performance artists, and youth organizers to translate design theory into public interventions.

In a sense, worlds – including artworlds – can only be said to be “plausible” if they are made plausible by design, that is, if people set out and redesign the existent and ultimately implausible worlds on offer. What DS4SI has done is to take the world-design imperative seriously, convinced that design concerns not only physical objects and spaces but also — perhaps above all — forms of social justice. DS4SI is dedicated to changing how social change is imagined, developed and deployed. Does effective social intervention mean breaking with exhausted forms, designing new ways to be interventionists? Designing new frames in which to intervene?