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Taylor Lowe and Keith Murphy

DeSigning Praxis: DeSign Cosmologies

Monday, February 13, 2017, 5:00pm

Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, Wilder House

In our second DeSigning Praxis dialogue, Keith Murphy and Taylor Lowe will discuss the intersection of design and cosmology in their own research on Swedish and Thai politics, respectively. Their work on the place of design in political cosmologies (or cosmopolitics) will frame a discussion of the contemporary politics of cosmology.

Building upon our first dialogue where Orit Halpern and Robert Somol agreed that design mediates the imagination of alternative worlds, DeSigning Cosmology moves to consider how imaginaries of political worlds achieve ideological order—how they become political and social cosmologies—through design. They ask whether there is a particular affinity between cosmology and designed discourse and things and examine the relationship between cosmology and other conceptual systems of power, like Gramsci’s Hegemony and Deleuze’s Diagram?  Lastly, they will discuss whether this is the time, and Design Anthropology the (sub)field, to “re-look” or “de-sign” the concept of cosmology.

Keith Murphy (Anthropology, UCI) is a Design Anthropologist and the author of Swedish Design.

Taylor Lowe is an Architectural Designer, Instructor, and PhD Student in Anthropology at the University of Chicago.

3CT’s new student-run project, DeSigning Praxis brings social theorists in disciplines like philosophy or anthropology into dialogue with practitioners of designed objects and spaces to address such questions as “How can we rethink the relation between theory and practice by interrogating the politics of design?”; “What can designers say to the claims of social theorists?” and “How can social theorists speak to contemporary design concepts and practices?” This series is part of the Object Cultures Project.