2023 Brief: Critical Spatial Practice
SOS is constructed to progress your practice, to challenge the traditionally commercial routes through your discipline, and pronounce the political in design. What we typically mean by politics isn’t defined by the chaos in Westminster, rather the intimate relationships between people, communities, and space. This is where spatial practice has the greatest opportunity to make critical change to social environments.
This year’s brief centres you and your ambitions for critical spatial practice. We begin with that maxim of feminist theory ‘the personal is political’ (Hanisch 1970), in order to orientate yourself to a series of critical ambitions for your future practice. This short statement had ramifications for us all, positing that there is a political dimension to every part of our lives, giving way to the necessary exposure of injustices, inequalities and historical discrimination against women.
Inequality continues today in too many shapes and guises. Critical spatial practice targets these as the focus for intervention. What you bring to this programme in your experiences, identities, ambitions and curiosities, will be the very tools needed to navigate projects with politics at its centre. We’d like you to place yourself and your communities into your project. This will be your starting point.
You will instigate and work toward a project through 1:1 design advisory sessions, self-directed study, and the involvement of third parties and / or your chosen community. Projects may cover, but are in no way limited to, ecological investigations, intersectional climate community work, strategies for designed de-growth, design for social care, support of forcibly marginalised communities, investigations of exploitative industry and labour relations, investigation of state and corporate violence, amongst other urgent and necessary interventions that are affecting you, or your communities.
2023 Brief: Collectivising the Curriculum
As part of the short four-week programme, we are interested in collectivising on how design pedagogy can and should be shaped by its participants. Through a series of structured group seminars, you will help to co-construct the design projects of others’ as well as your own. This year with your help, we embark on a research-lead and contingent programme that seeks to delve into the assumptions of commercially lead educational curriculum. Areas that will be covered by our seminars will include spatial practice participation and access, critical practice ethics and small practice funding and financing.