Design Agency within Earth Systems Symposium, Architectural Association, Friday 26th of October, 9:30-18:00

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When: Friday, 26th of October 2018, 9:30 – 18:00

Where: AA Lecture Hall, Architectural Association, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES


8,000 meters above sea level exists what climbers call the ‘death zone’. This altitude marks the limit for human habitation, above which our species cannot survive. We thrive in the ‘life zone’ – the earth’s land surfaces and oceans, its geological layers beneath, the dynamic atmosphere above – all affected by gravitational and magnetic forces beyond. This living world is constantly being transformed by our social, economic and political interactions revealing our intricate dependencies on the the earth and its systems.Terms such as ‘Anthropocene’ and ‘Capitalocene’ have drawn attention to the role of political economy in transforming these earth systems and positioned design as a major geological force shaping the planet.

The ‘Design Agency within Earth Systems’ symposium invites participants to look through these planetary lenses to reflect upon the complicity of design in the destruction of the planet; to question the two dimensional, land based political technologies, by which we order our lives and our relations to the earth; to explore the material dimensions of air, ground and ocean as inter-twinings of socio-political and earth systems; and to imagine relations between socio-political and earth systems differently through design.


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