N E X T .

Short-comings and Vulner-abilities

Published in K. Fletcher, L. St. Pierre, and M. Tham (Eds.), Design and Nature: A Partnership, London and New York: Earthscan/Routledge, September 2019, 111-117.

Download PDF (344 kB)

In a somewhat speculative, participatory study we tried to design a consequential entanglement between people and plants. “We” refers to a PhD student (the fermentation enthusiast) and a product designer (the horticulture enthusiast) and 22 plant-loving participants. Over two months in spring 2017 we practically explored our personal role in bio-material circulations. Yet our negligence for the basic needs of nutrients-transforming bacteria made us extremely susceptible to floundering plants and inconvenient confessions, and postponed little breakthroughs.

Organised as a dialogue between nature and design, the book this article was featured in explores design ideas, opportunities, visions and practices through relating and uncovering experience of the natural world. Presented as an edited collection of 25 wide-ranging short chapters, the book explores the possibility of new relations between design and nature, beyond human mastery and understandings of nature as resource and by calling into question the longstanding role for design as agent of capitalism. The book puts forward ways in which design can form partnerships with living species and examines designers’ capacities for direct experience, awe, integrated relationships and new ways of knowing.

Download PDF

Keywords: design/nature dialog, change experiment, genuineness, human frailty, generative vulnerability.