How can we reimagine design as an unbounded, queer, and unfinished practice that approaches the world from within instead of claiming an elevated position? How, for once, can we see design as a situated practice instead of turning it into the Global North’s escapist, problem-solving strategy? Our conviction: Design cannot change anything before it changes itself.
Generous, wild, and provocatory, Design Struggles does not shy away from the challenge of reimagining what design should be in the 21st Century. Instead, without pretending to offer a unique, coherent solution, it brings together a multiplicity of voices that question what we mean today when we speak of design. The contributors address questions about histories, pedagogies, and theoretical and practical perspectives in a series of situated writings ranging from academic essays to personal stories, often moving in the beautiful hybrid space in-between. Like an anthology, the collection may not necessarily be read from beginning to end but rather explored, as if walking through an unknown landscape, trying to take in the full picture, and as a guide to find personal engagement with specific questions. For example, moving from an intersectional perspective on design to specific questions about how we can value the often marginalized design practices that make the things we use in our everyday life. Together, the histories, pedagogies, theories, and practices included in the book make a layered image of how design can overcome its current challenges by becoming a truly multidisciplinary, feminist, postcolonial, and speculative endeavour.
— Chiara Dorbolò, Curator of the Architecture Book Fair 2021