Against the backdrop of anthropogenic climate change and ecological crisis, the activity of designing is experiencing an unprecedented momentum. Sustainable design approaches and circular products are being promoted to mitigate the effects of climate change. Smart material solutions and resilient cities promise survival in times of global warming, droughts, and floods. Finally, through design, situations with limited knowledge are hoped to be mastered and speculative futures imagined to prepare for life on a damaged planet.

However, the limits of design, imagination, and formability as well as the inherent contradictions of the design professions and cultures are becoming increasingly conspicuous. In recent years, design has been criticized for its role in promoting unsustainable modes of production, extractive attitudes toward nature, and excessive consumer cultures, as well as for its hegemonic Eurocentric and modernist perspective that has too long ignored alternative approaches, relationalities, and temporalities of world-making.

The lecture series with international design scholars and practitioners aims to navigate the tensions between technotopianism, critique, and transition in the context of designing in the so-called "Anthropocene". We will not only look at the potential, problems, and limitations of calls for ever more design and construction, but also look at alternative ways and narratives of world-making, transformation, and futurity.

This lecture series will be conducted online and presented in English

Semester: SoSe 2023