Brave New Alps

Designing Economic Cultures – seminar 1

Creative Survival – dealing with precarious working conditions is the first in a series of 6 seminars for design students at Goldsmiths College that Bianca is organising in the context of her research degree.


Carolina Bandinelli, PhD student in the Media and Communication Department at Goldsmiths College, working on precarity.

Bianca Elzenbaumer, PhD student in the Design Department at Goldsmiths College, investigating the relation between precarity, collaborative practice and the production of critically engaged work. She is part of the design collective Brave New Alps.

Precarious Workers Brigade, a UK-based growing group of precarious workers in culture & education, calling out in solidarity with all those struggling to make a living in this climate of instability and enforced austerity.

Kirsten Forkert, artist, critic, activist and PhD student in the Media and Communication Department at Goldsmiths College. Her research is about artistic labour in relation to postindustrialism, as well as labour organising in the arts.

Vlad Morariu, philosopher and PhD student at Loughborough University. There he is an active member of the Politicized Practice Research Group and runs the open seminar ‘Art and the Artist in the Age of the Precariat’.

About the seminar series:

Designing Economic Cultures is a series of seminars tailored for design students that takes the contemporary precarious working conditions of creatives as a starting point and investigates strategies of how to go beyond this current state of insecurity.
As the crisis of the financial market seems to have turned into the crisis of all social relations and of everyday life itself, designers are as affected by these developments as most other actors in society. How can we face these conditions with our creative skills and deal with them in a more proactive and propositive way?

The seminars will serve as a platform to discuss and develop questions like the following:

How can designers avoid the conventional choice between either financial stability or critically engaged work?

Which work settings may positively affect our abilities to address contested social, political and environmental issues?

What alternative economic values and strategies can be adopted to overcome precarity?

What can critically engaged creatives learn from the experiences of self-organised citizens and workers in other fields?