W O R K .


Markus Wernli

Markus Wernli’s work sits in the activist space between autonomous design, education, and sustainment. His research is concerned with the facilitation of future-opening collective scenarios as means of engaging with the ‘craft of daily life’ for joint learning, explorative methods, and social processes. Of particular interest here is how traditional resource cultivating models can be contemporized for bolstering adaptation capacities and critical leadership via skillful practices in the wider social context.
He worked most recently for Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven), Rooftop Farm at Hong Kong University, Utopiana Gardens (Genève), Campus Garden at Australian National University (Canberra), Wooferten Activist Residency (Hong Kong), Le Ville Matte (Sardinia), Seoul Art Festival, Cheng-Long Wetlands Environmental Art Project (Taiwan), and Anyang Public Art Project (Seoul).
Markus taught at Zokei School of Art in Kyoto (2005-07), College of Asia and the Pacific at Australian National University in Canberra (2012-14), and School of Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2015-18). He is the recipient of an Internationalization Grant from Creative Industries Netherlands in Rotterdam (2016), and a Seed Grant from Design Trust in Hong Kong (2017).



Curriculum Vitæ

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Research Praxis

O N G O I N G . / . U P C O M I N G . R E S E A R C H

2021/2 ongoing: Soil Trust (泥玩 : 集「棄」還田) Building Capacities for Collectivized Nutrients Cycling in Hong Kong. Territory-wide collaboration with Shing Wai Ng, Joshua Wolper, Ho Yiu Sheren Ngan, Kam Fai Chan and Hai-Rong Yan.

2021 ongoing: Our Own Metaphor: Tomorrow Is Not For Sale. Design anthropology research with Britta Boyer for The Routledge Handbook for Creative Futures by Gabrielle Donnelly and Alfonso Montuori (eds.).

C U R R E N T L Y . R E A D I N G

Claudia Mareis and Nina Paim (2021). Design Struggles: Intersecting Histories, Pedagogies, and Perspectives.

Jamie Lorimer (2020). The Probiotic Planet: Using Life to Manage Life.

Chelsea Wald (2021). Pipe Dreams: The Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet.

David Sobel (1998). Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education.

Lisa Feldman Barrett (2021). Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain.

Vlad Glăveanu (2020). The Possible: A Sociocultural Theory.

Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens (2020). How Everything Can Collapse: A Manual for Our Times.

Sasha Costanza-Chock (2020). Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need.

Alexandra Toland, Jay Noller, Gerd Wessolek (2018). Field to Palette: Dialogues on Soil and Art in the Anthropocene.

Tim Ingold (2015). The Life of Lines.

Derrick Mead (2015). Design for Repair.

Ailton Krenak (2020). Ideas to Postpone the End of the World.

Alain Bovet, Philippe Sormani, Ignaz Strebel (2018). Repair Work Ethnographies: Revisiting Breakdown, Relocating Materiality.

Lori Lobenstine, Kenneth Bailey, Ayako Maruyama (2020). Ideas, Arrangements, Effects: Systems Design and Social Justice.

Susan Yelavich, Barbara Adams (2014). Design as Future-Making.

Jemma Deer (2020). Radical Animism: Reading for the End of the World.

Eswaran Subrahmanian, ‎Yoram Reich, ‎Sruthi Krishnan (2020). We Are Not Users: Dialogues, Diversity, and Design.

Mary Catherine Bateson (1972). Our Own Metaphor: Our Own Metaphor: A Personal Account of a Conference on the Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human Adaptation.

R E C E N T L Y . R E A D

Steven Porges (2011). The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication and Self-Regulation.

Ezio Manzini (2019). Politics of the Everyday.

Bee Wilson (2019). The Way We Eat Now: Strategies for Eating in a World of Change.

Rick Flowers and Elaine Swan (2015). Food Pedagogies.

Arjun Appadurai (1988). The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective.

Herbert Meisselman and Halliday MacFie (1996). Food Choice, Acceptance and Consumption.

Albert Borgmann (1995). The Nature of Reality and the Reality of Nature.

Tim Ingold (2017). Anthropology and/as Education.

Nicholas Christakis (2019). Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society.

Douglas Rushkoff (2019). Team Human.

Shiu-Ying Hu (2005). Food Plants of China.

Frans de Waal (2019). Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves.

Kurt Koffka (1935). Principles of Gestalt Psychology.

Charles Mann (2018). The Wizard and the Prophet.

Melanie DuPuis (2015). Dangerous Digestion: The Politics of American Dietary Advice.

Kimmerer LaMothe (2015). Why We Dance: A Philosophy of Bodily Becoming.

Livia Kohn (2008). Chinese Healing Exercises: The Tradition of Daoyin

Sandor Katz (2003). Wild Fermentation: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Cultural Manipulation.

Tim Barber (2014). The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food.

David Waltner-Toews (2013). The Origin of Faeces: What Excrement Tells Us About Evolution, Ecology, and Society.

Jane Bennett (2010). Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things.

Michael Carolan (2016). The Sociology of Food and Agriculture.

Sharon Hayes (2010). Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity From A Consumer Culture.

Arturo Escobar (2018). Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds.

Tony Fry (2018). Remaking Cities: An Introduction to Urban Metrofitting.

Ramia Mazé (2007). Occupying Time: Design, Technology, and the Form of Interaction.

Amanda Ravetz, Helen Felcey, Alice Kettle (2013). Collaboration through Craft.

Tim Ingold (2011). Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description.

Tim Ingold and Elisabeth Hallam (2014). Making and Growing: Anthropological Studies of Organisms and Artefacts.

John Dewey (1938). Experience and Education.

Judith Halberstam (2011). The Queer Art of Failure.

Salomon Friedländer (1918). Schöpferische Indifferenz.

Mikael Sonne and Jan Tønnesvang (2015). Integrative Gestalt Practice: Transforming Our Ways of Working with People.

Joseph Zinker (1977). Creative Process in Gestalt Therapy.


Albert Borgmann (1995:39-40) looks at human reality in its contingent engagement with the world and distinguishes indifferent presence from commanding presence as follows:

“Whatever is devoid of contextual bonds and hence freely, that is, instantaneously and ubiquitously available, is therefore subject to our whims and control and cannot command our respect in its own right. Conversely, devoid of contextual bonds and hence freely, that is, instantaneously and ubiquitously, available is therefore subject to our whims and control and cannot command our respect in its own right. Conversely, whatever engages our attention due to its own dignity does so in important part as an embodiment and disclosure of the world it has emerged from.”

(Borgmann, 1995, 'The Nature of Reality and the Reality of Nature', in Reinventing Nature: Responses to Postmodern Deconstructivism, Michael Soulé and Gary Lease, Eds.)