This thesis aims to respond to the dichotomy between design as perceived from its origins in production, and design as a form of social value. Arguably, since Victor Margolin and Sylvia Margolin’s 2002 call for the development of new models of social practice from within the design profession, this reconciliation has not been fulfilled.
As such, from the diverse complexities faced by research into social design, which are ultimately embedded in its discourse, the thesis explores the discursive processes involved in the establishment of social responsibility in British design. In so doing, it seeks to understand the shifts in perception of social responsibility from the 1970s to contemporary practice.
Likewise, the thesis focuses on the material productions that emerged and continue to flourish under the discourse of social responsibility-arguing that the materiality borne from practices of social design, has been enacted by such discourse, and can thus, be posited as a product that is composed of different temporalities of the notion of the self (the designer), the environment, and ‘otherness’ producing processes. This in turn, aims to shed light on the myriad of discourses involved in the production of such objects, systems, services, etc., as they are framed under the overarching concept of social design.