Teaching Material

New Design Economies

MUO-E3011 Design Strategy and Leadership

This material is temporarily lodged here for students of Aalto University, taking the above course, 9 April – 18 May 2018.

How are design and economics related? What are the key economic challenges that designers face today and how might we respond? What non-monetary economies can we engage with?

Through this 6-week course you will explore issues such as the effects of global finance, intellectual property and open innovation as well as informal and alternative economies. It is premised on a need to develop design strategies and leadership that reach beyond current economic orthodoxies.

You will participate in lectures, micro-assignments, reading groups and discussions. These will prepare you to define and develop an individual or group project that cultivates new ways of intervening in contemporary economic practices.

Aims and Objectives:  NewDesignEconAimsObj

Provisional timetable:   NewDesEconTimetable

Keyword Need to Knows:  NeedtoKnows



In the first week you are required to undertake two assignments.

Assignment 1:  Macro-economic stories and design

This assignment shouldn’t require any background reading.

Assignment 2:  Non-monetary micro-economic practices

Reading for this assignment:
Gibson-Graham, J. K. (2008). Diverse economies: performative practices for other worlds’. Progress in Human Geography32(5), 613-632.

Gibson-Graham, J. K. (2014). Rethinking the economy with thick description and weak theory. Current Anthropology55(S9), S147-S153.

(If the link doesn’t work, look it up on Google Scholar and there should be a link you can follow to get it.)


Project to be undertaken in weeks 2-6:  NewDesEconProjectMatrix


Further reading

Julier, Guy (2017) Economies of Design. London: Sage
(Note:  taken from uncorrected book proofs)
Chapter 8. Sections on:   Public Sector Marketisation and Consumption; Responses to New Public Management; Austerity; Towards Networked Governance; Design in Networked Governance; Virtualism.

Springer, S. (2016). Fuck neoliberalism. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies15(2), 285-292.

Sternberg, C. A. (2013). From “cartoneros” to “recolectores urbanos”. The changing rhetoric and urban waste management policies in neoliberal Buenos Aires. Geoforum48, 187-195.


Links to short articles, animations and video talks you should look at for more general background material:  ReferenceLinks