Research Output
Aesthetic Justice. Design for a blind-spot culture
  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.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper

  • Date:

    06 September 2017

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    NC Drawing Design Illustration

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


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



Tolerance, Sensitivity, Ethics, Black Lives Matter, Anaesthesia

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