Journal of Contemporary Archaeology Vol 2 No. 2 (2015)

A brief provocative essay from 2015 on the needs for design to engage empathetically and critically with its situated past, beyond solutionism and radical breaks.


Design is a bastard practice, it is fundamentally detached from its own inherited ethos so as to appear progressive, virtuous and fashionable. Such abstinence from knowledge and past experience models a practice that advocates competition over communion – a renunciation of experience and sanction of illusory solutionism. The design discipline would benefit greatly from the principle ideologies of archeology, a practice which uncovers the past to inform the present and shape the future. It is proposed here that a practice of Design Archeology be installed into fundamental design practices to create responsibility in the agency of design. Are we all archaeologists? not quite yet.