This seminar will introduce students to a range of perspectives and examples critically examining cultures of regenerative design that engage with ecosystem thinking in a wide range of fields of human activity, including agriculture, food and fibre systems, architecture and the built environment, ‘greening cities’ and increasing urban biodiversity.

Increasing socio-ecological damage and the urgent need for care, repair and recovery has led to calls for regenerative design as a means of wayfinding towards a just and sustainable life on earth. Aiming to (re)design the way we live to align with and support the functioning of natural ecosystems, regenerative systems thinking is being applied to fundamental fields of human activity, from the production of energy to cities, agriculture, food, fashion and finance. In Designing Regenerative Cultures, Wahl suggests that regeneration is about reconnecting people in place, designing prototypes that point to future possibilities, and creating a dynamic capacity to move forwards. As a situated practice, regenerative design is also aligned with building community and networking diverse local actors to self-organise and experiment with new ways of making and being.

However, regenerative movements are inherently social and political expressions of heterogenous cultures and desirable futures, and as such are deeply intertwined with contested pasts and relations of power and representation. Regenerative design models raise critical questions as to whose narratives of the past are being evoked, who has the right to speak for whom, and what is being remembered and what forgotten. Similarly, what concepts of the future are being imagined, by whom and for whom, and how might some forms of living be enabled while other possibilities are negated?

Key Info:

Students are warmly invited to the Symposium 'Metabolism/Stoffwechsel' at Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin on 18.4.24, 9.30-17.30, full programme here in Moodle course, register here

  • The course begins on 25.4.24. (Please note that minor alternations to scheduling of topics and readings may be made prior to 25.4.24).
  • The seminar will be held in Georgenstrasse 47, Seminar Room 0.07 (ground floor) and will be in English.
  • 3LP will be awarded for active participation in the seminar, including preparation of readings in advance, participation in the excursion, and a willingness to give a presentation in the course of the seminar.
  • Key texts will be allocated between students at the start of the semester. Students may work in pairs, and if there are not enough spaces left, students may prepare a summary to be handed in, in agreement with myself.
  • Presentations on a key text should last approximately 20 mins, and include a summary of 2-3 pages to be handed out to participants in the seminar. 
  • Please prepare your presentations to include: a summary of the topic, discipline and short author biography, structure of the argument and most important points. Formulate 2-3 questions as a basis for group discussion.
  • Modulabschlussprüfung (4LP) - students may write an essay (Hausaufgabe) for either course (MA Ringvorlesung / BA seminar). Length: 10-12 pages (EN, preferred) or 12-15 pages (DE). Essays to be emailed to by 30.09.24.

Semester: SoSe 2024