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


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