Design capitalism: design, economics and innovation in the auto-industrial age

Murphy, Peter (2015) Design capitalism: design, economics and innovation in the auto-industrial age. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, 1 (2). pp. 140-149.

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Automation is replacing white-collar office work and non-dexterous manual work, causing major structural change in the job market. As advanced economies shift from a post-industrial to an auto-industrial model, all kinds of routine work is being replaced by machines. Mid-range job opportunities are shrinking, and labor markets are polarizing. Demand for dexterous service work nevertheless remains strong, as does demand for abstract labor working with patterns rather than with rules or procedures. Design is a mid-tier occupation that is growing rather than declining. “Design” is also a metaphor for abstract labor of all kinds; it exemplifies work that is creative, innovative, problem-solving, and reliant on judgment rather than rules. Heightened demand for abstract labor reflects the evolving nature of capitalist economies. The contribution of invention, ingenuity and imagination to the creation of economic value continues to expand. The auto-industrial era is coeval with design capitalism; together they represent a key dimension of future economics.

Item ID: 53269
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2405-8726
Keywords: design; employment; capitalism; automation; auto-industrial age; capital work
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 00:42
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140209 Industry Economics and Industrial Organisation @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change @ 60%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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