Anthropocene Economics and Design: Heterodox Economics for Design Transitions | Joanna Boehnert | She Ji

Highlights

  • Design has a role to play in facilitating heterodox economic transitions.
  • Climate change makes ecologically engaged economics and design an imperative.
  • Visualizations are tools to conceptualize and reconceptualize economic ideas, models, and more.
  • Economies are complex systems that can be mapped using visual strategies.
  • Redirected, distributed, regenerative economies are viable alternatives.

Abstract

Economics is a field under fierce contestation. In response to the intersecting challenges of the Anthropocene, scholars who take a broader and more critical view of current economic models have described the shortcomings of orthodox economic theory along with the severe consequences of its systemic discounting of the environment. Heterodox economists describe how the logic of neoclassical and neoliberal economics disregards the interests and needs of the natural world, women, workers, and other historically disadvantaged groups. Explorations of the household, the state, and the commons as alternative economies open space at the intersection of economics and design for incorporating and valuing the provisioning services provided by the ecological context and the undervalued work provided by certain groups of people. Design theorists, economists, social and cultural theorists, and anthropologists describe the relationship between value and values in ways that reveal how sustainable and socially just futures depend on the priorities (notions of value) embedded in the systems that determine what is designed. With these ideas, design can contribute to economic transitions with conceptualizing, modeling, mapping, framing, and other future making practices. Ecologically engaged, heterodox economics is a basis for societal responses to climate change on a scale that can make a difference.

Keywords

Anthropocene, Climate change, Heterodox economics, Ecological economics, Value and values, Design transitions for sustainability

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