Medium Design: Knowing How to Work on the World
by Keller Easterling
Everyone is a designer: making sense of the world
How do we formulate alternative approaches to the world’s unresponsive or intractable dilemmas—from climate cataclysm to inequality to concentrations of authoritarian power? Easterling argues that the search for solutions is a mistake. Instead, she offers the perspective of medium design, one that considers not only separate objects, ideas and events but also the space between them. This background matrix with all its latent potentials is profoundly under-exploited in a culture that is good at naming things but not so good at seeing how they connect and interact.
In case studies dealing with everything from automation and migration to explosive urban growth and atmospheric changes, Medium Design looks not to new technologies for innovation but rather to sophisticated relationships between emergent and incumbent technologies. It does not try to eliminate problems but rather put them together in productive combinations. And it offers forms of activism for modulating power and temperament in organizations of all kinds.
Published by Verso Books, 2021
Hardcover, 176 pages, 5.6 × 8.3 inches