Speculative Citizen Design
research project

Open Call

Inside-Outsiders  |  Tony Fry

In his programmatic text 'Design after Design', which seeks to outline an alternative curriculum for design education, theorist Tony Fry distinguishes between four design ontologies, or self-concepts of design practitioners.
He describes as Inside-Outsiders those who 'function from a recognized position of alienation and creative contestation. Without nostalgia they view the past as a resource, act beyond their own economic self-interest, and, by degree, embrace risk. Their disposition is affirmative, their ambition, a counter-career, new learning and efficacy'.
During the pandemic, insider-outsiders are those who improvise designs such as schoolchildrens’ distancer hats or → Chennai Coronavirus police helmets.
As a form of citizen speculative design, they are entirely devoid of goals of cultural or political mainstreaming. They create ad-hoc mock-ups that reinvent ways of being in the world with DIY proposals.

Further reading:
Fry, Tony, “Design after design”, Design Philosophy Papers, 2017, 15:2, 99-102, DOI: 10.1080/14487136.2017.1392093
Studio at the Edge of the World