The Politics of Nature- Designing for an Ontological Turn / DESIS Philosophy Talk 7.2 (EN)

The Politics of Nature- Designing for an Ontological Turn / DESIS Philosophy Talk 7.2

Thursday 18th of June 3:30 pm

 Virginia Tassinari, Ezio Manzini, Arturo Escobar, Liesbeth Huybrechts, Annalinda De Rosa

Today's environmental emergency requires specific efforts in terms of thinking/acting in designing. The consequences of anthropocentric ways of producing, consuming and living are becoming painfully clear. Design played (and often still plays) a role in this, and therefore has in many ways contributed to feed this anthropocentric mindset, considering human interests separated from the ones of the planet's. Design has a shared responsibility in this adopting this anthropocentric mindset, and it is hence obliged to recognize its risks and consequences. In this regard, designers are currently, and increasingly, becoming aware that an ontological shift is needed. What does it mean to take this “ontological turn” seriously? Which thinking in contemporary philosophy and anthropology can help designers – and particularly the ones dealing with subfields of design such as Participatory Design and Design for Social Innovation – to develop non-anthropocentric reflective practices that might account for the radical interdependence between people and the planet? Which kinds of transformative reflective practices might these modes of thinking possibly nurture? In this series of DESIS Philosophy Talks, we explore this subject starting from Latour's idea of coming down to Earth, meaning counting the radical interdependence connecting us to all other living creatures, as well as De la Bellacasa's idea of “care” as relational modality within your radical interdependence. The conversation opens the discussion about other Pluriversal metaphors – for instance coming from indigenous cultures – which can guide design to shift from anthropocentrism “down to Earth”, also exploring what concretely these metaphors could mean for contemporary design practices. Anthropologists Arturo Escobar, Mario Blazer and Marisol de la Cadena will engage with the Participatory Design community in this timely intellectual confrontation.