Dark Design: Mobilities and exclusion by design

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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 paper the underpinning values leading to power exercise, social exclusion, and differentiated mobilities will be explored. The paper takes point of departure in the so-called ‘mobilities turn’ in general, and the strand of ‘critical mobilities thinking’ that investigates the mundane everyday life situations. The framework of ‘Staging Mobilites’ (Jensen 2013) is at the base, but the paper extend the theoretical framing into thinking about design codes, codes of conducts, city plans, technologies, artefacts, objects, and new ways of including materialities into the mobilities analysis (e.g. Anderson & Wilie 2009; Bennett 2010; Ingold 2014; Jensen 2016; Jensen & Lanng 2016; Latour & Yanneva 2008; Vannini 2010). Empirically the paper breaches from the author’s own research into sky trains, metros, drones, and street design (e.g. Jensen 2013, 2014; Jensen & Lanng 2016) over secondary research into the social exclusion taking place by the design of infrastructure spaces and application of technologies (e.g. Graham 2010). The paper 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
Publication date2016
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventAAG 2016: American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting - San Francisco, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 29 Mar 20162 Apr 2016


ConferenceAAG 2016
LocationSan Francisco
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Mobilities
  • Design
  • Exclusion
  • Urban Design

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