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Design & Capitalism

Ruben Pater on the History of Design


It’s a cliche question for a sociologist to ask “what is the role of x under capitalism”, and it is a question that is seemingly applied to everything because at some point we learned that the knock-on effect of our actions and practices is often overlooked or misunderstood. One particular example is the way that capitalism, presenting itself as merely a way of organising resources, can manipulate the mind of its subjects. More than just a code for how resources are allocated, capitalism and its enactment reinforces highly problematic ways of thinking. Essentially, because there is something fundamentally compromised within capitalism, any practice of anything can be interpreted as problematic due to how it reinforces an unsolvable problem.