Forum: resilience & design

Cowley, Robert; Barnett, Clive; Katzschner, Tania; Tkacz, Nathaniel and Boeck, Filip De. 2018. Forum: resilience & design. Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses, 6(1), pp. 1-34. ISSN 2169-3293 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This forum aims to encourage theorists of resilience to engage more closely with different aspects of design theory and practice. The introduction outlines a series of largely unacknowledged parallels between resilience and design, relating to the valorisation of processes over states, the loss of faith in ‘planning’, the ambivalent status of boundaries and interfaces, and open-ended political possibilities. Four short reflections then follow on various design-related topics: the significance of the ‘wicked problem’ in contemporary urban planning and design, and the urbanisation of responsibility; design’s potential to repoliticise and engender new forms of responsibility; the significance of the digital interface and the condition of everyday life in the ‘unplanned’ post-colonial city. Readers are invited to build on or refute the explicit and implicit links made between resilience and design in the various forum contributions.

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“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in 'Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses' on 14 July 2017, available online: It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.”

This forum grew out of presentations and discussions at an exploratory conference on ‘Design After Planning: Examining the Shift from Epistemology to Topology’, funded jointly by the University of Westminster Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment and by the Centre for the Study of Democracy, on 5 February 2016; and from a workshop on ‘Defetishising the City’ held at the University of Westminster on 28 April 2016, sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Democracy.


Design thinking, wicked problems, resilience, design interfaces, Kinshasa, Cape Flats Nature

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


14 July 2017Published Online

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Date Deposited:

26 Sep 2023 10:59

Last Modified:

26 Sep 2023 15:41

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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