Callous Objects: Designs against the Homeless (Forerunners: Ideas First) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

An important read for everyone, but a must for NYC. Callous Objects brings attention to the everyday objects and designs around us that have created limitations against the unhoused. The inhumane tactics that multiple ‘actors’ have imposed on what is supposed to seem beneficial for everyday use, have underlying tones that need awareness. And what is technology’s role in all of this? If you find yourself with any opinion on the advancement of said technology, this book creates a philosophical language and a means to articulate what is just.

— Taylor


Uncovering injustices built into our everyday surroundings

Callous Objects unearths cases in which cities push homeless people out of public spaces through a combination of policy and strategic design. Robert Rosenberger examines such commonplace devices as garbage cans, fences, signage, and benches—all of which reveal political agendas beneath the surface. Such objects have evolved, through a confluence of design and law, to be open to some uses and closed to others, but always capable of participating in collective ends on a large scale. Rosenberger brings together ideas from the philosophy of technology, social theory, and feminist epistemology to spotlight the widespread anti-homeless ideology built into our communities and enacted in law.

Forerunners: Ideas First is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital publications. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.

About the Author

Robert Rosenberger is associate professor in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Praise For…

"Callous Objects provides an incredibly clear and concise introduction to the key ideas in Science and Technology Studies that animate much of the current literature on homelessness and the built form. It is an essential reading for academics, both undergraduate and advanced scholars, and practitioners of policy, planning, and law."—Contemporary Political Theory

"This short, vivid and novel book serves as a timely reminder that our public spaces are not experienced equally." —LSE Review of Books

"In this small-but-powerful book, Robert Rosenberger delves into the objects and laws that target the homeless. The book balances its philosophical bent with a hard look at how cities and governments counter a homeless presence." —Metropolis

Product Details
ISBN: 9781517904401
ISBN-10: 1517904404
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Publication Date: December 15th, 2017
Pages: 79
Language: English
Series: Forerunners: Ideas First