Abstract

The question of culture is virtually absent from the debate on contemporary design and especially from what in this paper I refer to as emerging design: a problem-based, solution-oriented design, the defining characteristic of which is not the products, services, and communicative artifacts it produces, but the tools and methods it uses.

But, although rarely discussed, emerging design also has its own culture—a culture that is rather limited and limiting precisely because of this lack of debate.

To go beyond this somewhat reductive culture (to which the paper refers with the expressions solution-ism and participation-ism), we need to return to the discussion on issues that are or should be typical of design: from the criteria by which to orient and assess the quality of local solutions, to the broadest visions of the world toward which we work. This discussion, and the design culture it generates, must be undertaken through a dialogic approach, in which the various interlocutors, design experts included, interact as they bring their own ideas and define and accept their own responsibilities.

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