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What if it was edible? From designing ‘things’ to infrastructuring agency

Nottingham School of Art and Design Research Lecture 2022

What if it was edible? From designing ‘things’ to infrastructuring agency
Public lectures | Seminars

This talk is part of the ‘Creative Innovation Across Disciplines’ guest seminar series.

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Biography: Danielle Wilde is professor of design for sustainability at Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University, Sweden, and associate professor of embodied design at the University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg. Wilde’s research examines how embodied engagement with the materiality of the world can assist people in thinking in new ways; developing new possibilities for future action that can be implemented today; alternative responses to challenges we face, whether these are planetary in scale or concern the nature within us. In this work, Wilde uses performative and probiotic methods, participatory and speculative research through design, to open up new ways of thinking, through moving, making and doing. Much of her current research is focused on food.

Abstract: In considering the role of design in the planetary-scale challenges we face, Wilde asks what if everything we ever made was edible? She unfolds shitty health-oriented research that leverages the absurd to recraft chronically ill peoples’ relationship to their gut microbiome; workshops and salons designed to reorient participant thinking towards more sustainable food futures; and living lab actions developed for the FUSILLI project that examine a municipality’s food system and consider how it can be made more sustainable through radical, at-scale action. The talk opens up for consideration a new role for design and the designer. Rather than making things, products, cultural artefacts or services, Wilde proposes that the designer’s job in the twenty-first century is to examine relationships and dependencies, and do as little as possible; leverage participatory and co-creative design methods to help people to infrastructure their own agency—to understand what they need to regenerate the world around them, and take action so that humans and non-humans alike might flourish.


CAPTION: self-portrait (large intestine with ulcerative colitis)

PHOTO CREDIT: photo: Ditte Veise

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