Consultant social design, austerity and citizenry

Guy Julier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social design has emerged as a broad set of designerly approaches to societal challenges. With falling public sector budgets and failing economies, social design, as carried through pro- fessional, consultant practices rather than in its voluntarist or activist modes, is understood to work as a smart, fast way of seeing us through these. Outsourcing, Outcome-Based Budgeting and the stirring up of traditional governance systems and responsibilities each contribute to a more varied and less permanent design landscape to work in, however. These are met by a set of design methods to researching, generating and realising new ways to configure and deliver services. This paper takes a critical view that asks whether consultant social design really is ‘social’ or whether, instead, it conspires, in its methods and in the contexts it is active in, towards the opposite.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-821
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in City on 25/01/2018, available online:


  • design
  • austerity
  • citizenry
  • service delivery
  • Social class


Dive into the research topics of 'Consultant social design, austerity and citizenry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this