Counter-Framing Design aims to theorise the politics of design framing practice by deconstructing the ways in which design practices institutionalise discourses of sustainability.
The project started in February 2020 and was borne out of my experiences of working with communities who perceive, enact and materialise distinct sustainability frames in distinguishable and contesting ways.
At the same time, the conceptualisation of ‘frames’ and ‘framing’ in design theory so far does not deal sufficiently with the sociopolitical dimensions of design frames. By foregrounding counter-frames, the project aims to build a conceptualisation of how design frames can be understood as both political and epistemic and as such constitutive of the politics of design knowledge.
Counter-framing design aims to distinguish and deconstruct how distinct manifestations of sustainability, which are centred on distinct ideologies and produce their own discourses and sociopolitical frames, are rendered in and by design. Through an emphasis on concepts such as multitudes and collectivities, we aim to deconstruct institutionalized and ineffective discourses of sustainability by politicising design frames.