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Designer Security: Control Society and MoMA's SAFE: Design Takes on Risk

Lacy, Mark (2008) Designer Security: Control Society and MoMA's SAFE: Design Takes on Risk. Security Dialogue, 39 (2-3). pp. 333-357. ISSN 1460-3640

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Abstract

This article suggests that Gilles Deleuze's writings on societies of control provide useful insights on changing configurations of biopower in contemporary societies. However, far from the dystopias depicted in many popular visions of the future, such as the films THX 1138 and Minority Report, societies of control are being shaped by the work of designers, creating the potential for an `ecology of control' that can become `benignly' woven into our lives. MoMA's exhibition SAFE: Design Takes On Risk is a fascinating introduction to designers' responses to risk and insecurity around the planet, along with work that interrogates critically our obsessions with risk, control, and insecurity. SAFE illustrates an emerging synergy between designers and policymakers that makes possible the intensification of control society through products of `communectivity' (such as the ironic `Homeland Security Blanket') and designer security. Indeed, `designing in' protection and `designing out' insecurity are mantras that are increasingly important to contemporary discourses of security in risk-obsessed states. The article expresses the author's concern that discourses of design and security suppress anxiety about the ethico-political consequences of control society, along with broader issues of security politics, at the same time as they install new policy initiatives and `synergies' through the desire to design out insecurity.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Security Dialogue
Uncontrolled Keywords: control society ; design ; security ; biopolitics ; risk
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 54847
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 31 May 2012 11:57
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2013 09:50
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/54847

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