Dark Design: Mobility injustice materialized

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Abstract

Any design idea or intervention in the world is based on an underpinning logic or a set of normative principles and values. At times such will be very explicit, at other times they will be unspoken and tacit. In this chapter the underpinning values leading to power exercise, social exclusion, and differentiated mobilities will be explored. Empirically the chapter discusses the dark design example par excellence – Holocaust. However, the empirical discussion is taken from this extreme into the mundane and ordinary spaces of city squares and public spaces. In such spaces the confinement and exclusion of ‘unwanted subjectivities’ are found in ‘bum proof’ designs of urban furniture, as well as in exclusionary design interventions and decisions reaching from the installation of material artefacts (e.g. fences and spikes) to sophisticated application of technologies. These latter ones may reach from power expressed in software-based sorting and selection of unwanted mobile subjectivities to surveillance systems as for example biometrics, CCTV, and drone surveillance. The chapter re-works how inequalities are ‘staged’ through overt and covert design ideas and interventions shaping and re-shaping the social geography of a world increasingly marked by the rights, abilities, and opportunities to move freely – or not!
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Any design idea or intervention in the world is based on an underpinning logic or a set of normative principles and values. At times such will be very explicit, at other times they will be unspoken and tacit. In this chapter the underpinning values leading to power exercise, social exclusion, and differentiated mobilities will be explored. Empirically the chapter discusses the dark design example par excellence – Holocaust. However, the empirical discussion is taken from this extreme into the mundane and ordinary spaces of city squares and public spaces. In such spaces the confinement and exclusion of ‘unwanted subjectivities’ are found in ‘bum proof’ designs of urban furniture, as well as in exclusionary design interventions and decisions reaching from the installation of material artefacts (e.g. fences and spikes) to sophisticated application of technologies. These latter ones may reach from power expressed in software-based sorting and selection of unwanted mobile subjectivities to surveillance systems as for example biometrics, CCTV, and drone surveillance. The chapter re-works how inequalities are ‘staged’ through overt and covert design ideas and interventions shaping and re-shaping the social geography of a world increasingly marked by the rights, abilities, and opportunities to move freely – or not!
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMobilities, Mobility Justice and Social Justice
EditorsNancy Cook, David Butz
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date2019
Pages116-128
Chapter8
ISBN (Print)978-0-8153-7703-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-4294-3458-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

    Research areas

  • Mobilities, Design, Justice, Dark Design, Power, Social Exclusion
ID: 288227226