Jomy Joseph - Artefacts from the Pluriverse- Designing for long term futures and sustainability

Illustration made by: Jomy Joseph

Illustration made by: Jomy Joseph

The age of Anthropocentric climate change brings with it an uncertain future for organised human life while we continually plunder our life sustaining biosphere in the pursuit of mass consumption, enabled by design. Yet, we are still bound by this wicked problem of ecology versus economy. While in the “real” world ecology is interconnected and communicating all the time, our economic systems of business as usual assumes that every action and interaction is solely derived from a singular profit motive, regardless of the true costs to our biosphere, which is taken as an externality. Given the need for immediate climate action there seems to be a crisis of imagination in seeing beyond ‘business as usual’, particularly when it comes to the industrial design practise. Seeing as we are left with self-fulfilling death spirals of dystopias, the challenge for design is to construct new paradigms that point towards solution spaces and facilitate the transition and transformation to an ecology of desirable futures as opposed to an insular point of view of ‘business as usual’. To evaluate the possibilities of a thriving, sustainable future world, we need to be able to ‘foresee’ radically different futures. Designing for such a radical future depends on being able to visualise a future that doesn’t yet exist, garnering valuable foresight that can help create a vision both desirable and feasible, through and by design. The following research looks at the ways in which design can contribute to adapt, iterate and redefine the narrative of long-term sustainability. Such an enquiry calls for an exploration into the possible modes of futures engagement that might expand the possibilities of our collective future frame through a designerly solution-driven exploration for facilitating climate action. Actions that by design clear up better, more hopeful visions of the future, committing to modes of positive change, enabled by industrial design solutions. Given such as outlook, the research leads with the following question:

“How can Industrial Design be an enabler for imagining more hopeful futures in the context of long-term sustainability?”

Institute of Design / Håkan Edeholt (Supervisor)

PhD started in 2018