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You’re not my Dad - and I wouldn't do what you told me to even if you were – design fraternalism versus design paternalism

Gamman, Lorraine and Thorpe, Adam (2011) You’re not my Dad - and I wouldn't do what you told me to even if you were – design fraternalism versus design paternalism. In: 2011 Design History Society International Conference; Design Activism and Social Change, 7-10 September 2011, Barcelona, Spain. (Unpublished)

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Gamman, Lorraine and Thorpe, Adam

This paper offers an account of design activism (1) as an intentional action to bring about social , environmental and behavioural change linked to exploration of nudge theory. Putting fruit at eye level in a canteen counts as a nudge, banning junk food from that canteen does not. This paper will look at design nudges linked to social agendas such as health and crime prevention and address the criticism that such designed ‘nudges’ are ‘paternalistic’(2) , top down and a form of social control rather than activism. It will go on to argue against this position and make the case for a ‘fraternalistic’(3)and participatory approaches, to socially responsive design and co creation.

The Bikeoff initiative was created as a response to cycle theft experienced by staff, students, friends and peers at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Bikeoff sought to work with a broad community of individuals and organisations concerned with cycling, crime and design with the aim of activating ‘a design revolution’ to reduce cycle theft and increase cycle use. The paper will explain how and why this approach was fraternalistic drawing upon case studies evaluating a series of communication, product and spatial design interventions to illustrate the benefits of design ‘nudges’ over ‘paternalistic’ instruction as a means of activating behavioural change.

1. Activism consists of intentional action to bring about social change. This action is in support of, or opposition to, one side of an often controversial argument.The word "activism" is used synonymously with protest or dissent , but activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political ampaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches , strikes both sit-ins and hunger strikes, or even guerrilla tactics.Some activists try to persuade people to change their behaviour directly, rather than persuade governments to change laws. The cooperative movement seeks to build new institutions which conform to cooperative principles, and generally does not lobby or protest politically. Reference: http://www.answers.com/topic/activism#ixzz1C7XmA81w
2. Thaler R and Sunstein C (2008) Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness, London, Penguin Books elaborate the theory of libertarian paternalism in their book. In arguing for this theory, the authors advocate cthinkers/academics/politicians embrace the findings of behavioural economics as applied to law, maintaining freedom of choice while also steering people's decisions in directions that will make their lives go better.
3. Fraternaism , means “like a brother or brothers: or denoting an organization for people, especially men, that have common interests or beliefs”

Official Website: http://www.historiadeldisseny.org/congres/
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: reviewing the case for socially responsive design nudges, participatory governance and co creation
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Research Centres/Networks > Design Against Crime at the Innovation Centre (DAC)
Date: 23 September 2011
Related Websites: http://www.designagainstcrime.com
Related Websites:
Event Location: Barcelona, Spain
Projects or Series: Research Outputs Review (April 2010 - April 2011)
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2012 15:57
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2022 13:35
Item ID: 3323
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/3323

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