Waste, Pollution and Design in Asia

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This workshop will examine contemporary intersections of historical or everyday waste management practices, emerging waste problems and future designs for sustainability in Asia. Drawing on historical, anthropological and geographical comparisons across Asian sites, the workshop explores the diverse and sophisticated technologies and infrastructures developed for governing waste. We trace past, present and future loops of materials, energy, and loss, focusing especially on their social, economic, political and cultural dimensions, and highlight the material and moral dimensions of purity and pollution, expenditure and recycling. Through a method of juxtaposition and discussion, the workshop aims to examine how seemingly out-dated ‘traditional’ practices can provide resources for new designs to pressing waste problems.


  • 9:30am – Registration and coffee
  • 10:00am – 10:30am  Opening Remarks: Lyle Fearnley (HASS, SUTD)
  • 10:30am – 12:00pm  Session 1: Purity and Pollution: Waste moralities
    Awadhendra Sharan (Center for the Study of Developing Societies [Delhi, India])
    Anna Dupuy (Université Paris-Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense)
    Discussant: Gabriel Tusinski (HASS, SUTD)
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch
  • 1:00pm – 2:30pm Session 2: Hygiene campaigns and social infrastructures
    Alatan (Minzu University, Beijing, China)
    Trang X. Ta (Australian National University)
  • 2:30pm – 3:00pm Coffee break
  • 3:00pm – 4:30pm Session 3: Forms and spaces of zero waste
    Kao Shih-yang (Hong Kong University)
    Lyle Fearnley and Shaun Yu Lim (HASS and IDC)
  • 4:30pm – 5:00pm Concluding remarks and future directions
    Frédéric Keck (CNRS, musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Paris, France)

*Kindly note that the programme may be subject to changes.

Click here for registration.

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