• For money's sake:introducing Redefinition Design- a method to break out of the ubiquitous monetary paradigm; in the hope of finding genuine alternatives

Houldsworth, Austin, 2018, Thesis, For money's sake:introducing Redefinition Design- a method to break out of the ubiquitous monetary paradigm; in the hope of finding genuine alternatives PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

Redefinition design is a special case of speculative and critical design; it is intended to be used by
designers in facing otherwise recalcitrant or refractory design situations. One subject that generates
more refractory design situations than most is money. Thus, money will be the vehicle used to derive,
articulate and apply the redefinition design methods.
The future of money is heavily informed by ideas from its past. In this regard, the services and systems
based around money, including industries focused on design, often embody a conservative culture that
perpetuates old paradigms onto new technology.
In this dissertation, I propose two research questions:
RQ1: Paradigm Paralysis – what characterises the underlying assumptions that heavily inform the
design and development of money?
In the context of investigating the new methods associated with Redefinition Design, we firstly begin
to examine and interrogate underlying and often tacit assumptions, taking the specific case of money.
Though this question I elucidate the fundamental principles of money, which lie at the core of the
longstanding mainstream monetary paradigm. The totality of money is broken down into four main
constituents: monetary artefacts, currency systems, monetary mentifacts and finally the functional
axioms of money. Revealing these core principles, and analysing them within specific cultural
contexts, will inform the methods used in the development of the practical work.
RQ2: Paradigm Breakout – What characterises a methodology that can facilitate designers to step
beyond the underlying assumptions informing the development of money?
This research has yielded strategies that allow the radical re-conception and design of currency systems
and monetary artefacts, through the application of a redefinition design approach.
The Redefinition Design methods developed in this research enable the designer to identify suitable
alternative cultural contexts, such as historic or literary contexts. The methods prompt us to deconstruct
these contexts, then reconstruct them with a design proposal that resonates with all cultural levels of
the given context. Hence, in the case of entrenched social technologies like money, the resulting
Redefinition Design proposals are harmonious with the alternative culture, but incongruous in the
context of contemporary culture. These methods do not instigate a paradigm shift but rather a paradigm

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W240 Industrial/Product Design
School or Centre: School of Design
Funders: Dave Birch
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 13:42
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 14:32
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3537
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