Sustainability beyond the commodity-machine

Sustainability beyond the commodity-machine:

The production of the common in post-capitalist design cultures

“What happens when this commodity-machine —now conveniently located out of the view of most of us— breaks down, as environments give out, markets crash, and/or sweat-shop workers scattered across the globe somehow refuse to go on?” —Hal Foster

Balamir Selçuk | Design cultures have so far been analysed in separate stages of production, mediation and consumption, or, along the circuit of the ‘commodity-machine’ —an unsustainable configuration vulnerable to multiple financial, social and ecological crises. Emergent ‘postcapitalist’ design cultures bypassing market mediation require a different framework, based on the production of shared value, as opposed to exchange value. Three ‘commoning’ strategies are distinguished: a) peer production, in the activity of designing subjects, b) open source, in the circulation of design projects, c) digital fabrication, in the making of designed objects. Can design be disentangled from its commodity-form? To what extent these practices prefigure a new and sustainable basis for product design, and redirect the production and distribution of material artefacts towards viable, desirable and equitable configurations?

Supervisors | Joost de Bloois, Johan Hartle and Jeroen de Kloet. (2013-2017)