Curating Modern Challenges to a Just, Civil + Vital Living World

About this ReSearch Project | Stream 1 | #C3res1

| The prevailing socio-political-economic story of the 21st century has become increasingly hostile to the whole of life and social cohesiveness. Our prevailing story, the one that is currently guiding our society, threatens the fundamental future of all life and social vitality across the globe. The hostility extends to every scale and sphere of life, from individuals, species and communities of all kinds, to entire eco-systems and planet Earth itself.  This story or paradigm is best described by the term “Corporatocracy“, which is defined as “a society or system that is governed or controlled by corporations”.

The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency and his cabinet appointments have made the long emerging U.S. corporatocracy openly visible to Americans. Columbia University economist and professor Jeffery Sachs writes extensively on the topic of corporatocracy in his 2011 book “The Price of Civilization” in which he describes both political parties as being right-of-center. Contributors to the Wikipedia page covering the book write thatSachs identifies four powerful U.S. lobbies: (1) military-industrial complex (2) Wall Street–Washington complex (3) Big Oil–transport–military complex (4) the health care industry”. Wikipedia goes on to quote the publisher:  “[the book is an] incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity.”

Architecture, design + art have always had a close (and frequently tense) relationship with power. In the the past 300 years, power has become increasingly concentrated in private corporations. Therefore, we have added corporatocracy to our list of interconnected essential factors influencing design: power [corporatocracy], computers, globalization and environmental degradation. The negative impacts of Corporatocracy on the world have been driving attempts at societal transformation since the 1960’s. In 2017, those negative impacts are becoming profound.  After the 2016 U.S. election, the world looks even more like the period that gave rise to the Bauhaus and similar schools of design immediately after World War I. These new schools were primarily responding to the negative, widespread socio-economic changes created by industrialization. In Germany, the Bauhaus was also responding to the economically oppressive outcomes of the war.  This period shaped architecture + design into the practice we recognize today. The cycle is now repeating and a century after World War I, the negative impacts of corporatacracy and automation on life and society are driving the need for a new approach to how we design our places, our institutions and our socio-political-economic system. We are in desperate need of a living story for our world.

All three of our ReSearch Streams are now integrated around the story of civic life. Stream 1 is exploring the declining state of global society + the environment, Stream 2 is exploring the resistance to that decline and Stream 3 is exploring a new story of life for the present and the future.

*Previously this ReSearch Stream was defined as “Exploring the New Authoritarianism” which was started on December 5, 2016. Our ReSearch yielded insights that lead us to rename the title to “Curating Stories of the Uncivil + Destructive Modern Corporatocracy*” on March 18, 2017. Through our research, we’ve come to believe that Corporatacracy is the specific form of authoritarianism that best represents what we are experiencing today. On July 2, 2017 our research lead to another redefinition of the title to “Curating Modern Challenges to a Just, Civil + Vital Living World”. We have not dropped the text and discussion on Corporatacracy, but we have widened the overall definition of the stream to better align with our greater purpose of curating + creating a new, wholistic story for a living world.

What are the C3LD ReSearch Streams About?

Our on-line ReSearch queries focus on issues we’re engaged in at the moment. They can last a few days, a few weeks or even a few months. We stream our findings using Twitter + Pinterest. Learn more about using this Page and the ReSearch Streams by clicking here



Follow C3 Living Design’s board C3 ReSearch 1 on Pinterest.


The ReSearch Streams

You are currently at C3 ReSearch Stream 1 (see below for our ReSearch History)
C3 ReSearch Stream 2
C3 ReSearch Stream 3
C3 ReSearch Streams 1, 2 + 3 Archive

Past ReSearch Projects | Stream 1

The Stream 1 ReSearch Projects are listed in chronological order below. You can use the sequence and dates to help you find them in the Twitter + Pinterest Streams above. Each Twitter Post has a date in the lower right corner.

Stream 1 Past ReSearch Projects

  • What is the role of Architecture + Design in a Resilient Society?
    Channel: #C3LDdt | Design + Thinking
    End Date – November 26, 2016 (Use this date to locate the ReSearch in the twitter stream – #C3res1)
    Research Brief: We believe architecture + design are changing due to the powerful influence of computers, globalization and environmental degradation on society. The scope and intensity of change are similar to the period that gave rise to the Bauhaus and similar schools of design in 1919.
    What did we learn? Our research was based on being “aware” of the topic and watching for articles that addressed the issue. Very little crossed our path. Either the information available is not part of our “flow” or there is a limited amount being written specific to the issue. Bruce Mau’s “Resilient Design: It’s all in the Blueprint” was the most direct finding. Other findings where good indicators of what design might address, but they were not written specifically in design vernacular. The comparisons between the 1919 Bauhaus and the current state of society are even more relevant after the 2016 U.S. election of authoritarian + strongman Donald Trump.












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Creating . Connecting . Curating the Patterns of Life

C3 Living Design Project