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How are the rise of design and neoliberalism connected? How does design change the way we operate as economic beings? What is the economic significance of design?

Historically, design has been promoted for its capacity to add value to products and services. In contemporary capitalism, however, it assumes a more central and more complex role. Design today is both influenced by, and actively shapes, our economic systems.

This ground-breaking book shines a spotlight on how design has become embedded in political economies. Drawing on a range of global examples, it reveals the multiple ways in which design has emerged as a vital feature of neoliberal economic systems, from urban strategies to commercial processes to government policy-making.

Economies of Design provides a thought-provoking new way of understanding and talking about the meanings of design in contemporary capitalism. It is an essential companion for students of design and the creative industries across the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Introduction: Contemporary Capitalism and the Rise of Design
Design Culture and the Neoliberal Object
Design Work
Global Trade and Mobilities
Financialization and Assets
Intellectual Property
Informal and Alternative Economies
Public Sector Innovation
Studying Economies of Design

One of the few good books we have across on economics written from a design perspective.

Mr Aditya Pawar
Umea Institute of Design, Umea University
March 16, 2020
Key features
  • explains the economic processes of design
  • explores the relationship between design and intellectual property
  • discusses the role of design in the public sector
  • highlights the impact of design in informal and alternative economies
  • brings theory to life with case studies on home improvements, fast fashion, shopping centers, and more

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4: Global Trade and Mobilities

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781526421302

ISBN: 9781473918856

ISBN: 9781473918863

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.