Speculative Citizen Design
research project

Open Call

Liberal Reformer Design  |  Tony Fry

In his programmatic text 'Design after Design', which seeks to outline an alternative curriculum for design education, theorist Tony Fry distinguishes between four design ontologies, or self-concepts of design practitioners.
He describes as Liberal Reformers those who'are critical of design in/and the market place but believe their reformism will make a real difference. ‘Sustainability’ as the leading edge, mostly (one could argue totally) fails to confront the scale and depth of the unsustainable. Consequently, so much in the name of sustainability sustains the unsustainable. In the end, liberal reform becomes a weak version of political romanticism'.
Liberal reformers are seeking reforms which often remain only superficially ‘sustainable’ solutions, such as → inner-city bicycle lanes for a more ecological post-Corona future.

Further reading:
Fry, Tony, “Design after design”, Design Philosophy Papers, 2017, 15:2, 99-102, DOI: 10.1080/14487136.2017.1392093
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