in Precarious objects
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The Conclusion explains that the framework of design activism provides a vocabulary to understand how design objects and practices address precarity as political, social and material conditions. It also clarifies how the three microhistories presented in the book enable a shift between different scales of observation, remixing close-ups on the localised realities in Italy and long shots on global issues brought about by precarity. In detail, the first chapter explores the invention and use of designed objects in parades. The second chapter provides an example of an activist design intervention in the fashion industry that embedded some of the defuturing elements of precarity in the designed objects, and prefigured a different way to produce fashion with the invention of the ‘metabrand’. The third chapter offers examples of design as redirective practices grounded in activist experiences. Lastly, the Conclusion outlines the four threads running through the book: the throwntogetherness of local and global elements; the attention to build collectivities and alliances; the biographical elements; and finally the idea of ‘laboratory Italy’, arguing that the case of precarity, Italy has been a laboratory of early work reforms, mass precarisation and the erosion of workers’ rights, but also of experimentation in design activism.

Precarious objects

Activism and design in Italy


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