Ron Wakkary is a Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University in Canada where he founded the Everyday Design Studio. In addition, he is a Professor and Chair of Design for More Than Human-Centred Worlds in the Future Everyday Cluster in Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. Wakkary is the author of the book Things We Could Design for More Than Human-Centered Worlds (MIT Press, 2021). His research investigates the changing nature of design in response to new understandings of human-technology relations, multispecies worlds, and posthumanism. He aims to reflectively create new design exemplars, theory, and emergent practices to contribute generously and expansively to understanding ways of designing that are more accountable, cohabitable, and equitable.
Designing-with in More than Human Worlds
In this talk, Ron Wakkary will discuss his recent book, Things We Could Design for more than Human-Centered Worlds (MIT Press 2021). The book is a critical and creative speculation on designing-with: a relational and expansive design based on humility and cohabitation. The exploration aims for an alternative to human-centered design that is rooted in humanism that begets a human exceptionalism founded on ongoing oppressions, exploitation of others, and extractive relations with nonhuman species and matter. The book weaves together posthumanist philosophies with things to critically imagine designing for a world of differentiated humans entangled in an equal fate with all that is not human. The talk will discuss the journey toward concepts of the speaking subject, the human role of gathering and speaking with humans and nonhumans in assemblies that make up designers; biography that describes the shared agencies of designer and things for what they jointly inscribe into our worlds and leave behind; and constituency that seeks forms of collective structures that gather to design across the politics of humans and nonhumans.