Design for the New Natural in the Age of Post-Media
Soares, S (2015). Design for the New Natural in the Age of Post-Media. Renewable Futures. Riga, Latvia 08 - 10 Oct 2015 London South Bank University.
As technology is shaping nature, the impact it has on living systems becomes more expressive. What role can design and designers play towards a sustainable future? Since 2008, the ‘Anthropocene’ epoch - in which human and technological influence dominate the planet - is being widely debated by the scientific community. New advances in areas such as synthetic biotechnology, genetics and nanotechnology are changing our very nature and nature itself. Genetic screening technologies are enabling parents to design their babies. Craig Venter’s team creation of synthetic life represents a landmark for manmade organisms. On a global scale, Geoengineering proposes to manipulate the planet’s environment. It considers erupting volcanoes to reflect sunlight and CO2 capture from air and water. Also, scientists have been developing a generation of climate-resilient crops to tackle future demographic pressure. Incurably curious, in order to understand the technological impact of this research, designers are venturing into other territories. Design for the New natural intends to explore the role that design and designers will play within the emergent panorama of the techno-ecological redesign of nature. The proposal will build upon work that often uses the application of collaborations with lab-based researchers. Symbiotic relationships with natural systems are envisaged in projects like Bee’s and Am I attractive?. And work such as Vegetarian tooth, considers a technological driven post-media nature perspective, highly engineered and tailored to tackle the current biological diversity crisis. These projects articulate a speculative design approach leading to the formation of experimental collaborations between genetics, regenerative technology and synthetic biology. The proposal aims to discuss the potential of design within an interconnected systems position (nature and humanity being part of one system) and how can design be used to make abstract issues tangible and raise a multitude of questions surrounding sustainability.
|Keywords||design futures; new roles for design; speculative design|
|Publisher||London South Bank University|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|08 Oct 2015|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||28 Feb 2017|
|Accepted||08 Oct 2015|
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