Design encounters with non-human others

Home > Lab Talks > Design encounters with non-human others

Li Jönsson from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, will give a talk on Design encounters with non-human others, 18th November at 14:00 in IxD Lab.


Design encounters with non-human others
Design is argued to be a practice committed to proposing new forms of life (Ingold, 2015). However, at times where issues such how human activity is threatening biodiversity and is argued to cause severe climate change, we are constantly battling with how we practice our living as more sustainable. It can be argued that climate change is one example of unintentional design – an unintended side effect from our practices of living. This articulates one of our current conditions of ecological complexities by highlighting how nature and culture are intertwined – at the same time invisible. Bruno Latour (2008) says, ecology is not about nature but concerns the way we live – what he (referring to Peter Sloterdijk) calls breathable, liveable, atmospheres. He directly relates this as a challenge for design, to create the conditions of cohabitation and designing new spaces to breathe. Because, if we are to assume that the environment is something to be artificially produced it is a matter for design.
If design proposes new forms of life, how can we practice living together with and through nature/culture complexities?
Giving a Lab-talk, I will attempt to exemplify one possible ‘new spaces of co-habitation’ through the project Urban Animals and Us (2013) that formed part of my thesis work. The explorative project concerns taking nonhuman worlds seriously by constructing technologies of reciprocity – and stakes out the contours of what a non-anthropocentric position in design might be and look like. In extension of this, I will further sketch on this position in my presentation and open up for discussion of where my future research practice is heading. Because, if, lets say this is an posthuman interventionist design – what is then its relation to e.g. social design? And what are the actual design materials, and design role, in such a practice? What knowledge is produced for, and for whom?
About Li Jönsson
Li Jönsson works at the intersection of interaction design and science and technology studies (STS). She is interested in politics of participation and issues of how we can move beyond the anthropocentric positioning of design. In her interdisciplinary approach to design, she engages a diverse set of critical and practical ideas and links practices of design/making to inventive research methods. Earlier work evolved around topics from energy consumption to senior health care.