( CHPT. I )
This first chapter aims to discuss how designers can work consciously with the politics of design, by integrating a politics of care in their daily practice. Many crises today, such as climate change, migration, and the recent corona pandemic, have made it extremely clear that we need to care more for each other and for the world. In addition to a greater awareness, it is important to look for creative and action-oriented ways to bring this ambition into practice. The great challenges of our time push us to fundamentally reassess the potential role of design and designers. Designers who engage with the politics of care consider it as the political agency of design to acknowledge the radical interdependencies between humans, as well as between humans and all other agencies populating and constituting the planet Earth. If politics is considered as the creation of a common world, a politics of care expands this collective effort as a relational practice that expands also beyond the human world. Participatory design has been reflecting on and practicing the political agency of design for a long time, but is currently re-thinking this agency from within this awareness of radical interdependence. This raises two questions: How can designers recognise and care for the radical interdependencies connecting us all? How can they contribute to construct a world common to many, humans and more-than-humans? This first chapter argues - via discussing particular design capabilities - how a the politics of design can be brought into practice: how a deeply engaged, critical and situated design approach that nurtures a culture of mutual care is necessary to rebuild a common understanding of how, why, for whom and what, where and when we need to tackle today’s challenges.