Design research and design in hybrid societies

What kind of design interventions / contributions are needed in contemporary European hybrid cities?

In order to answer this question we have first to scrutinizes the context of present-day cities. Over the past decennia neo-liberal governance models of spatial planning and city organization have dramatically shaped West-European cities in an unsustainable way. Many domains of city life, the public realm and urban planning have been privatized, deregulated, and marketed in favour of global capital. Post-industrial cities suffer from gentrification. Global competition between cities and city networks accelerate these dynamics even more.

This type of corporate city management is driven by private interest of (global) capitalism and a culture that is characterized by super exposed identity consumption (branding). How does this neo-liberal context influence the practice of design and communication in the urban sphere and space? And where lie the challenges for design assignments of today and tomorrow?

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