Michaela Büsse

Michaela Büsse

Analysing design through the lens of human-material entanglements

The Anthropocene discourse, also referred to as Anthropo-scene, brings together many different readings and practices which aim at entangling relationships between human and environment in order to find more just and sustainable ways of “living in the ruins”. Post-anthropocentric design practices are at the core of these endeavours with their attempt to overcome the human-centeredness inherent in design practices of the last decades.

I argue, more than defining new design methods that focus on material-inherent qualities, the alleged stability of the category of the human is being called into question when analysing human-environment relationships. Design therefore ought to question its foundations and to which extent they are constitutive to manifesting a certain human-environment relationship thus exposing the coordinates of our contemporary understanding of human life in relation to its environments.

Along the planetary medium of sand, and by drawing on Simondon’s concept of individuation – the becoming within a technological milieu, – I would like to investigate how material transformations of a seemingly elusive material affect human lives in various places and spaces.

Based on field work in South East Asia and the Netherlands, I aim to investigate the different readings, concepts and practices that evolve around materials, especially around sand. Through film making, tracing and mapping, these encounters will be documented, archived and transposed as an interactive website. Around the core research foci land, cement and microchips the different voices, processes, situation and entanglements will give an idea of the multi-facetted human relationships to sand.
Focussing on design in the Anthropo-scene means reflecting both on the concept of the human within design and designs understanding of itself.

Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis (University of Applied Science and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Karin Harrasser (Linz University of the Arts)
Assistant Prof. Dr. Adam Nocek (Arizona State University)

Michaela Büsse, Analysing design through the lens of human-material entanglements

contact: Michaela Büsse