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“A typical liberal may recognize contributor names on the cover like the Yes Men and Billionaires for Bush, but the guts of the book also nod to IWW, Earth First! and Otpor.”

Cole Wardell

Design Studio for Social Intervention

Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI) describes itself as a research-and-development unit of the nonprofit sector. Founded in 2005 by Kenneth Bailey, then a fellow at MIT’s Department of Urban Design, DS4SI tries to create methods for changing the way people experience cities and public spaces. Their actions frequently use spectacle to reclaim public space that has become hostile or inaccessible to those who need it: they organized giant tug-of-war games in violent Boston neighborhoods and subway stations, for example. Their “Let’s Flip It” campaign turned a well-known symbol of Boston gang violence — baseball hats whose colors indicate allegiance to a particular block or project — into a symbol of nonviolence, by designing an all-white, no-allegiances hat and a youth-to-youth network to distribute it. They also repurpose familiar actions in new theoretical frameworks; their Food Not Bombs-like Public Kitchen was billed as an effort to dissociate the connotations of “cheap” and “run-down” from the word “public.”


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