If we want to face the urgent ecological and social challenges of our time, we need to change how we design. We want to design life-friendly relations:
relations towards oneself,
relations between people,
relations to our fellow life-forms.
Design is a cultural activity. Our thoughts about the world become tangible reality. Currently, the dominant drivers in design are about money and technology.
What are the values that can drive live-friendly design?
We have 15 ideas.
Our design process is based on personal experience and reflection.
When we look at nature we see what we know. Where biologists marvel at the “biodiversity of a habitat” economists might see “agricultural production land”. As naive amateurs walking off the beaten track we want to discover our own perception of nature. So we started the semester with two small inspirational projects asking ourselves:
- What do we find extraordinary in our ordinary natural environment?
- How can physical objects tell us something about natural materials?
Field trip to Denmark
We spent a couple of days in a cabin by the sea, took long walks in the forest, and roasted bread over the campfire. After three days in the countryside we headed off to Copenhagen to visit our friends at SPACE10.
SPACE10 in Copenhagen is an experimental design lab for creatives who are curious about possible futures. They facilitate projects about circular societies, co-existence, and digital empowerment. We spent two days with them, discussing design and building our dream natural home in a rapid prototyping workshop.
What does gardening have to do with Design?
It is a great place to learn.
Biological systems are infinitely complex. When we physically interact with plants, insects, and microorganisms we develop a tacit understanding of the processes and the timing of this complex biological orchestra. Shaping systems is at the core of what designers do.
It is a perfect social environment.
A garden is a place to retreat, relax, and marvel at the little and not-so-little wonders of nature. Such an inspiring context sparks precious conversations about nature, ecology, and how we want to design our lives.
For our summer show we translated our projects into interactive tangible experiences and turned our ceiling into a typographic plant bed.