Harvard Design Magazine #50

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Harvard Design Magazine’s 50th issue is edited by Sarah M. Whiting and Rahul Mehrotra. Its theme, “Today’s Global,” aims to avoid a simple and ineffective return to a mere celebration of the local or the regional. This is a moment instead to foster a nuanced understanding of where design “sits” vis-à-vis our planet and to advance a more productive discourse on globalization. The issue relies on novel examples of design—and even the design of writing—to further today’s global from multiple vantage points.

What, for example, are the new rubrics by which we organize, understand, and situate our agency as architects and planners in the world beyond imagining it in terms of binaries? How might we slow the current pace of consumption and production, set by capitalism’s ever accelerating metronome? What might define the global design imaginary in the throes of a planetary climate crisis? How might we instigate new forms of collaborations that transcend national boundaries, and new forms of knowledge production that transcend our current notions of interdisciplinarity? Could design foster a planetary civil society? How might designers situate or align themselves with these new formations of patronage? And what role might schools have in articulating and advancing a contemporary understanding of the global?