Precarity pilot: re-defining the path of our working lives

Elzenbaumer, Bianca ORCID logoORCID:, Franz, Fabio and Giuliani, Caterina (2015) Precarity pilot: re-defining the path of our working lives. Online.


The output is a creative project comprising an online platform and a series of nomadic workshops. It aims to address issues faced by precarious designers in inventive ways. It was a collaboration between Dr Bianca Elzenbaumer (lead researcher, writer, workshop leader), Fabio Franz (co-workshop leader), Caterina Giuliani (ideation, structuring of website, co-lead pilot workshop) and Gaja Meznaric-Osole (graphic design). Research process: Between 2014 and 2018, Elzenbaumer ran over 16 workshops in the UK, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, Portugal and Finland. The results influenced the generation of content for the online platform, which went live in January 2015 and was gradually filled with content. Research insights: The project raised questions about how designers can act individually and collectively to make space for critical practice, despite the precarious working conditions pervasive in their professional field. The workshops enabled the proposal, critical assessment and conception of “de-precarising” tools that designers can draw on in their everyday practice in order to create a more empowering and egalitarian professional environment, allowing themselves and the design field to evolve in terms of a much-needed eco-social transition. Dissemination: • Keynote, Papanek Symposium 2017, London. • Keynote, By Design or by Disaster conference 2017, Bolzano Italy. • Keynote, Graphic Design Educators Network Annual Conference 2016, Cardiff. • Keynote workshop, Beyond Change Swiss Design Network Summit 2018, Basel. • Paper, Association of American Geographers Annual Conference 2015. • Paper, Cumulus Conference in Milan 2015. • Group show, Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart (21 May - 5 July 2015) • Design Museum in Helsinki (FIN) as part of the exhibition Lorem Ipsum – Talking about graphic design (23 March - 27 May 2018). • University of Alberta in Edmonton (CAN) as part of the group show Design Latitudes (12 May - 6 June 2015).

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