John Wood Talk

Metadesigning; Surviving by re-designing design 

John Wood, Emeritus Professor of Design at Goldsmiths

Thursday 30th January 4pm T-Room, 1st Floor Evo House

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If artists and designers are to make a serious contribution to the survival of our species they may need to become ‘game changers’. Saving us from climate change, or major species losses cannot be achieved by designing incremental improvements, quick fixes, or cooler gadgets, such as ‘green cars’, or PV panels everywhere. If designers are only trained, and paid, to feed the consumerist system we may need to re-think (and re-design) design itself. This is a massive undertaking that would include challenging almost everything that is ‘normal’ and familiar to us. It would include revising some of our most fundamental economic concepts, such as ‘division of labour’, ‘economies of scale’,‘time’, ‘money’ and ‘information’. The new economies will need new lifestyles that require no fossil-based energy. Achieving this will require new concepts that will seem puzzling to us, at first. One of these is ‘ecologies of scale’.

John is Emeritus Professor of Design at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has taught in Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Scandinavia. He is co-editor of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice (Intellect Books) and a number of other journals that reflect his interests in science and design philosophy. In 1988 he wrote the first BA(Hons) practical design degree to combine entrepreneurship, ethics and ecology and, in 1995, launched the first MA Design Futures degree. His books include ‘The Virtual Embodied’ (Routledge, 1998) and ‘Designing for Micro-Utopias’ (Gower, 2007). His main current research interest is in the pursuit of synergy with a metadesign framework. (see http://metadesigners.org/). Since 1974, John has remained an active founder-member and performer with the cult band ‘Deaf School’.

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