Posthuman Design Industries

by vasilysitnikov

tech scheme.jpg

It can be said, that technologies are means of transferring things from the realm of nature to the realm of culture. In turn, technologies constitute industries which extract, process, and machine nature in order to present it as a commodity on the market. These sets of actions, which transform natural things into things with bar codes, are commanded by the higher-level intellectual decisions, usually referred to as the design.

Since the rise of environmental consciousness, proclaimed through the notion of the Anthropocene, a debate around the environment-conscious design was being imposed on the public through the effort of environment scientists such as Michael Braungart. The main thesis of his critique is that the industries inherited from the anthropocentric era do not comply with the basic ideas of the environmental sustainability. When expanded to a global scale, they create a dramatic hazard to the biosphere of our planet.

Obviously, interruption of the industrial and economic development is not a solution to the crisis we are facing. As Braungart suggest, the transition to a sustainable living can be facilitated through a revision of the design approach not merely limited to the performance of a product on the market, but including numerous other criteria deriving from the awareness with numerous environmental and social conditions.

Such a design problem can be represented in a form of a differential equation with hundreds of variables. Thanks to computer aided design tools, a solution to these inhumanly complex mathematical problems can be calculated almost effortlessly. However, the problem one would face when following this method is that such a sustainable product won’t necessarily respond to our habitual modernist expectations of form and function; rather, it’ll be a sudden, unforeseen object, a sustainable artifact. To become a commodity on the market, this noumenon would need to be given sensible and practical qualities. This work of post-rationalization and retrofitting may be seen as a true design challenge of the posthuman design industries.