Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Aesthetic Justice. Design for a blind-spot culture

Buwert, Peter



This paper presents a conception of aesthetic justice which builds on
thoughts of Theodor Adorno and Wolfgang Welsch and attempts to reconcile design’s relationships with both aesthetics and ethics. Where legal justice operates on a principle of homogenising equality, aesthetic justice recognises the full heterogeneity of experience and as such cannot tolerate the injustice of treating things which are not alike as if they were. Building on this theoretical conception a project of design for a blind-spot culture is outlined. Design, rather than contributing to societal anaestheticisation of the ethical can instead utilise its aesthetic influence to shine light on dark places, nurturing an atmosphere of sensitivity to differences, exclusions, oppressions and intolerances. Design’s potential to act, and fail to act, in such ways is discussed through examples of aesthetic artefacts relating to the 2016 British EU referendum, U.S. presidential election, and the Black Lives Matter movement.


Buwert, P. (2017). Aesthetic Justice. Design for a blind-spot culture. Design Journal, 20(sup1), S38-S48.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Conference Name Design for Next. 12th Eurpoean Academy of Design Conference
Start Date Apr 12, 2017
End Date Apr 14, 2017
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2017
Online Publication Date Sep 6, 2017
Publication Date Sep 6, 2017
Deposit Date Apr 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 7, 2019
Journal Design Journal
Print ISSN 1460-6925
Electronic ISSN 1756-3062
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue sup1
Pages S38-S48
Keywords Tolerance, Sensitivity, Ethics, Black Lives Matter, Anaesthesia
Public URL
Additional Information Volume 20, 2017 - Issue sup1: Design for Next: Proceedings of the 12th European Academy of Design Conference, Sapienza University of Rome, 12-14 April 2017


Aesthetic Justice. Design for a blind-spot culture (1.4 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is freely available in The Design Journal 

You might also like

Downloadable Citations

Whoops, looks like something went wrong.