Subversive Creativity Lab is a design, arts, and literary workshop dedicated to the study and creation of alternative, non-conformist, and counter-hegemonic visual and material interventions in the public sphere. Inspired by cultural critic Oli Gould’s idea of subversive creativity, we believe subversion can occur in contexts from the small and subtle to loud and direct. We must employ a wide range of subversive tactics to wrest “creativity” away from neoliberal ideological structures and to make meaningful and lasting social change. 

Primary contributors, Danielle Foushée (Public Artist + Assistant Professor of Design) and Rosemarie Dombrowski (Phoenix Poet Laureate + ASU Senior Lecturer in English), are tied together by an ethos of Radical Public Service. We study visual-rhetorical expressions in public spaces and the resulting dialectics between arts <—> culture. Our work lives at the praxis between design, arts, writing, urban and natural places, and community engagement. 

Objectives:
Using Arizona as a local laboratory, Subversive Creativity Lab addresses a variety of social justice issues, including those stemming from neoliberal ideologies and policies as well as historically colonialist practices.  

Our goals include:

  • generate scenarios that give voice to those traditionally silenced;
  • provide resources and asset-based frameworks by which communities can author their own creative solutions;
  • facilitate ethical community engagement exchanges using arts and design methodologies;
  • capture and celebrate the cacophony of visual expressions made by citizens in their own communities;
  • design stand-alone artifacts for public places;
  • explore opportunities to train future arts and culture professionals for socially impactful careers;
  • decolonize design education through participatory design practices in social, cultural, and community contexts.