Social design


people

Context


Authority through hierarchy

To date society has been controlled through authority delivered through a hierarchy, or various hierarchies in various ways which is usually based on a specific ideology or belief system. This ideology or belief system can be either political or religious in nature but it becomes the predominant ideology or belief system in society which means that authority is delivered through a certain instrumentality which many people find to be alienating, isolating and dis empowering. This is despite the fact that we are supposed to have both democracy and freedom, which as a result of a concentration of power in the hands of the organization - be it political, religious or corporate - tends to gravitate towards totalitarianism and results in such issues as dis empowerment of people, cultural decline and social fragmentation and division.

Effects of information technology

In recent years this process or cycle has been exacerbated by the development of information technology which has given people greater power to use technology to access information, share it, and communicate and interact with others through the internet and various networks. It is debatable whether those in authority have become more corrupt or totalitarian in nature or whether this has always been the case. What is clear however is that the development of technology has caused information and knowledge to become currency almost as powerful as money and that technology is incompatible with the current preexisting hierarchies and belief systems based on external authority. This has caused a shift in the balance of power in favour of the organization and the further dis empowerment of the individual and it is this shift in the balance of power which gives rise of many different social, economic and environmental issues which place the entire future of Mankind under question.

Control of culture by organizations

Control of culture, including access to opportunities to develop culture through creativity, and also opportunities to explore and develop one's creativity in space in the local community is tightly controlled by various organizations - state and local authority, corporate, media, or institutional. It is not possible to access community space or get funding without having to jump through the hoops and go through an application process to some organization.

As a result all local amenities in a community are what is decided people should have by an organization and - as we have seen in the case of austerity - which can be taken away again by the organization. This has led to the loss and closure of thousands of different local amentiies and spaces such as libraries, community centres, day centres and playgroups, so that today it is not possible to meet with someone in a public space to take part in a creative or social activity without paying money.

What has never happened

To date we, people, have never properly worked together to properly design a society paying due attention to how efficiently society functions, and with regard to aesthetics and balance. To date we have always trusted those in authority to create social structures and shape society, its infrastructure and economy for the benefit of everyone but in recent years this trust has been undermined by the incentive of large organizations to concentrate power and make the acquisition of profit (which is the concentration of power) as their primary objective. This leads to dis empowerment of people, deprivation of opportunity and deprivation of individual human experience.

The word 'design' is very important

Please be aware that this is social design which means developing and redesigning culture and social structures which enhance a community, paying due regard to aesthetics and balance, and also efficiency. This is a process which takes in and involves many different people, creative people, designers, coordinators, project developers and managers, communicators, because this is about taking the initiative to improve the quality of living in a community and to bring together people in local communities.