02.228 Design in the Anthropocene

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The ‘Anthropocene’ refers to ‘(the) Age of Mankind’—the subsequent geological age after the Holocene that denotes the significant and unprecedented impacts of human actions on different global systems. The world in the Anthropocene is quintessentially, a ‘world as design’. Yet design studies have yet to be connected to, or contextualized within, the novel conditions that accompany the onset of the Anthropocene, when artificial design has unprecedentedly become the background, as well as the approach, for coordinating and supporting everyday life. What are the new categories for design in the Anthropocene? Furthermore, how do these categories and concepts modify, or even confound, what we already understand in design theory? What then are the new issues and challenges for design in the Anthropocene? In this course, existing design theory will be introduced, and explicated in relation to the Anthropocene condition through seven emerging topical issues: (i) designing with living systems 1 (human-beings); (ii) designing with living systems 2 (more-than-human agencies and other ecosystems); (iii) open systems and incomplete design; (iv) large-scale sociotechnical systems 1: Smart Cities; (v) large-scale sociotechnical systems 2: Artificial Intelligence; (vi) large-scale sociotechnical systems 3: Climate change adaptations; (vii) design ethics.

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Instructor
Jeffrey Chan