Design & Environment: An Intensive, Interdisciplinary, and Output-Oriented Workshop

Przydatne informacje
Data rozpoczęcia: 
Data zakończenia: 
Zgłoszenia do: 

*Wendy Gunn* (Senior Research Fellow at the Research[x]Design Research
Group, Department of Architecture, KU Leuven)
*Clare Risbeth* (Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at the Department of
Landscape, The University of Sheffield)


This two-day workshop seeks to critically rethink how design and environment inform each other. Architects, designers, and environmental
scholars from a range of disciplines are committed to sustainability. However, the relationships between these fields of inquiry and production
are not self-evident. How are design and environment intertwined, or when does environment become design and vice versa?

It has long been recognised that spatial planning and design are not just matters of aesthetics or convenience, but can have major consequences for
how an environment functions in social terms. The examples of destructive socio-spatial segregation are ample, as are those of fragmented ecosystems.
The workshop invites reflections on the troubled relationship between design and environment beyond conventional “Design for the Environment”
(DfE) frameworks (focussing on the environmental impact of products or processes) and seeks to defy the idea that design altruistically works ‘for
the betterment of all’. Acknowledging instead the normativity and embeddedness of design in power structures, can serve to expose the
intentionality of environmental changes. In turn, environmental changes, as well as contemporary understandings of the socio-material configuration of
space, can produce surprising understandings of how design processes work and allow for more inclusive, and perhaps empowering conceptualisations of
design. The emerging field of design anthropology in particular has been “concerned with how people perceive, create, and transform their
environments through their everyday activities” [1], thus developing a broad conceptualisation of design as a way of making the world.

Where do (studies of) design and environment meet, and what kinds of understandings does this offer? What are the pitfalls and challenges this
encounter brings forward? How do the temporalities and materialities of design and environment align or clash in working towards a sustainable

Anthropologists, geographers, designers, architects, humanities scholars and others, at all career stages, are invited to contribute to this two-day
workshop. Possible topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

  •  Temporalities in/of environment and design
  • Environmental crisis and disaster
  • Design, destruction, and (spatial) inequality
  • Urban and rural landscape architectures
  • Controlled environments
  • Aesthetics, representation and critique
  • (Post)colonial environments
  • Utopia and social engineering
  • Sustainable design and environmental management
  • Dwelling and everyday design


This will be an *intensive*, *interdisciplinary* and *output-oriented* workshop. Apart from public keynote lectures by Wendy Gunn (KU Leuven) and
Clare Risbeth (The University of Sheffield), the workshop will be closed to people who are not presenting to improve commitment within the group. The
workshop is limited to a maximum of 20 people.

Those interested are kindly asked to send an abstract (max 200 words) outlining their ideas to Arvid van Dam ( before 13 October 2017.

Invited participants will then be asked to submit a 3 to 5 page essay well before the workshop and all participants are expected to read the essays in
their panel. In addition, they will be asked to send 1 to 3 thematic questions with their essay, which might inform the panel discussions.
During the meeting, each participant will give a pitch rather than a full presentation, focussing on the main argument of their essay (creative
approaches are welcome), and allowing for in-depth discussions. There will be no parallel panels. Various sessions will be directed, each in their own
way, at coming up with collaborative output based on the discussions and presentations.