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Title: For money's sake : introducing Redefinition Design - a method to break out of the ubiquitous monetary paradigm, in the hope of finding genuine alternatives
Author: Houldsworth, Austin
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 0147
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2018
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Redefinition design is a special case of speculative and critical design; it is intended to be used by designers in facing otherwise recalcitrant or refractory design situations. One subject that generates more refractory design situations than most is money. Thus, money will be the vehicle used to derive, articulate and apply the redefinition design methods. The future of money is heavily informed by ideas from its past. In this regard, the services and systems based around money, including industries focused on design, often embody a conservative culture that perpetuates old paradigms onto new technology. In this dissertation, I propose two research questions: RQ1: Paradigm Paralysis – what characterises the underlying assumptions that heavily inform the design and development of money? In the context of investigating the new methods associated with Redefinition Design, we firstly begin to examine and interrogate underlying and often tacit assumptions, taking the specific case of money. Though this question I elucidate the fundamental principles of money, which lie at the core of the longstanding mainstream monetary paradigm. The totality of money is broken down into four main constituents: monetary artefacts, currency systems, monetary mentifacts and finally the functional axioms of money. Revealing these core principles, and analysing them within specific cultural contexts, will inform the methods used in the development of the practical work. RQ2: Paradigm Breakout – What characterises a methodology that can facilitate designers to step beyond the underlying assumptions informing the development of money? This research has yielded strategies that allow the radical re-conception and design of currency systems and monetary artefacts, through the application of a redefinition design approach. The Redefinition Design methods developed in this research enable the designer to identify suitable alternative cultural contexts, such as historic or literary contexts. The methods prompt us to deconstruct these contexts, then reconstruct them with a design proposal that resonates with all cultural levels of the given context. Hence, in the case of entrenched social technologies like money, the resulting Redefinition Design proposals are harmonious with the alternative culture, but incongruous in the context of contemporary culture. These methods do not instigate a paradigm shift but rather a paradigm breakout.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W240 Industrial/Product Design