The Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building
University of Technology Sydney
Inaugural Conference
October 21-22


The Designs of Resistance

Key Note Speakers:

The cosmopolitan can be used to begin to locate oppositional strategies to globalisation while at the time allowing for the development of sites of resistance – sites allowing for a reconfiguring of terms such as ‘place’, ‘region’ etc. However, what seems to have been positioned beyond such possibilities is design. (Design in this context is to be given the greatest extension possible. It will include architecture as much as that which is institutionally identified with design.) In the 1920s when design was explicated in terms of style, the latter was often defined in relation to the national question. It was argued that style reflected, or should reflect, national concerns. The simple move to the international – where the counter to the national becomes no more that a ubiquitous internationalism – fails to address the possibility that there maybe on the level of design a correlate to cosmopolitanism. Fundamental to such a possibility would be the recognition that cosmopolitanism, in giving priority to place and region – at least as a beginning – cannot be reduced to a single organising set of ideas let alone a single appearance. Hence the question – how is the relationship between cosmopolitanism and design to be understood?

Answering this question necessitates as much a theoretical and philosophical reflection on the nature of the cosmopolitan, if not design itself, as it does interventions by architects and designers. Part of the process will be the development of modes of thinking proper to a productive interplay of cosmopolitanism and design.

This conference will bring together leading philosophers, architectural theorists, architects and designers to explore the differing possibilities to which a rethinking of design might give rise.


Those wishing to present a paper of 30 minutes, or who wish to organize a panel of 90 minutes should contact the conference organizer. (See email address below.)

The cost of the conference will be Students $65, Full Rate $125. Bookings should be sent to

Centre for Social Theory and Design
Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building
University of Technology Sydney
PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007.

Andrew Benjamin
Professor of Critical Theory in Design and Architecture.
Director, Centre for Social Theory and Design.