This network engages with posthumanism in design practice, education and research. We are designers and scholars, based in Sweden or its neighbouring regions, who want to nourish our curiosity and belief regarding the need for designers to pay better attention to non-human earthlings like other animals, plants, and everything in-between and beyond. Together we want to explore how design practice, education and research can grow and thrive in contact with posthumanism – and how designerly and artistic skills, methods and approaches at the same time can contribute to posthumanism.
Thomas Laurien – PhD, Senior lecturer at HDKWe urgently need to increase the PH value in our minds. Instead of being part of the problem I believe that a designer, by taking a stand for other-than-human stakeholders, can play an important role in the crucial survival project of decolonizing and re-enchanting the world.
HDK profile, Skimmer och härvor, Instagram
Kristina Lindström – PhD, Senior lecturer at MAU
Given that design and the way it has been practiced have participated in creating urgent environmental concerns, I believe there is a need to rethink and rework the foundations of design. Posthumanism can offer an alternative imaginary for design, that invites designers to work with interdependencies between and across more-than-human actors.
MAU profile, The Un/Making Studio
Erik Sandelin – PhD student at KTH+Konstfack
The world is not a smorgasbord for humans to indulge in. Exploitation of non-human animals permeates our everyday lives. I believe some posthumanist concepts may be productive for (re)imagining what being human could be like, beyond human supremacy. In the tension between affirmative posthumanism and critical animal studies imaginative alternatives can be prototyped.
Konstfack profile, Unsworn
Åsa Ståhl – PhD, Senior lecturer at LNU
Design has contributed to good life for many, but also excluded many actors, spaces and temporalities - and left problematic marks for generations to come. Posthumanism can generatively help practitioners, educators and researchers to transform the basis for their inquiries, choices and answers, partly by a shift in who is even understood as an actor.
LNU profile, The Un/Making Studio
Martin Avila – PhD, Professor at Konstfack
Design devises, which implies creating divisions, arranging partitions, material and sensible, including some and excluding others. Thus, a form of togetherness is inscribed in, by and through things that tend to maintain us in our relating to (some) others. The norm of the devising through design has been human; done by humans and for humans. There is a need for an ethical commitment to create designs that acknowledge other beings, and to create a culture that devises disruptions of anthropocentric spatialities and temporalities. Responding ecologically, in working to increase life-affirming response-abilities.
Konstfack profile, Personal website
Aditya Pawar – PhD student at Umeå Institute of Design
To think about participation in a more-than-human world requires us to reconsider the primacy of human agency. The move suggested here is from participation to acknowledging livingness or relational becoming as the modality of connecting bodies, matter and worldly arrangements. I understand this as expanding the sensibility of the political to build durable associations between human and non-humans.
Anna Maria Orrù – PhD, Research Curator, Lecturer at Chalmers
We are on a voyage of poethical proportion – poetic, political and ethical - to appeal for a posthuman and postnature approach to critical spatial practice. By taking inspiration from our companion species helps to re-align relational activity between humans and non-humans. Such transformations to the making and relating to space are fundamental to understanding a significant otherness that goes beyond anthropocentric mindsets for a reorientation of coexistances so that new interactions can emerge. In this endeavour, Biomimicry offers a way forward and provides an overflowing cradle of knowledge taken from 3.8 billion years of nature’s research and development.
Personal website, FoAM website
The Posthumanities Hub / Prof Dr Cecilia Åsberg & Dr Marietta Radomska – Founding Director and Co-director, KTH and LiU
The Posthumanities Hub is a postconventional research group and a platform for postdisciplinary humanities, art and science, and more-than-human humanities. We work across the arts and sciences, with philosophy informed by advanced cultural critique and some seriously humorous feminist creativity. In our research, we specialize in the more-than-human condition and re-inventive feminist theory-practices and methodologies for how we can learn to live better together on a damaged planet. Conceptually, we explore, re-think, design and put to use posthuman, a-human, inhuman, nonhuman, and trans-, queer or anti-imperialist and feminist theory-practices for academic or societal uses. We target specific cases and relevant phenomena in our projects - all with the clear aim to meet up with pressing societal challenges.
Fanny Lindh – Part of design studio Doma, applied research designer at RISE Interactive
By engaging in and with the nonhuman, I believe that we can unveil the stories where human and nonhuman are not that inherently different from each other, and place us human as something not separated from the world around us, but part of it. The human perspective is not the only one, but rather one amongst the many perspectives that creates the story about the world that we live in. Not only are we changing the world but it is also changing us, it is about time that we take responsibility in the why’s, how’s and what’s we change.
Li Jönsson – PhD, Senior lecturer at K3
In regards to recent discussions around environmental issues and ecological changes, it is argued that we need to take account of ozone holes, coral reefs, garbage heaps, and all the rest. This requires us to become posthuman-designers; to question not just arrangements between humans, but to open up to an entirely different universe - a multiverse - of actors. I believe posthumanism and design can help us here, to practice and imagine how to create mutually beneficial relationships and more ecological entanglements between and among this sprawling multiverse.
Studio Märka : a collaborative identity of MFA designers Klara Lindqvist and Philippa Stenmarker
Through a range of formats we are rephrasing the ways of discussing design and posthumanism. With an aim of decolonising the discourse we reach out to a diverse audience outside academic institutions. We work close to - and with - our companion species, learning by living alongside and exploring new ways of cooperating with the more-than-human. Our methodology is grounded in design and collaborative practices where we learn, create and change together. How can we understand and change perspective when it comes to looking at the world from a point where theory of posthumanism and design meets?
Studio Märka website
Henrik Lübker – PhD, Curator at The Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Odense, Denmark
Museums have always been the very symbol (or even temple) of Enlightenment and thus also of anthropocentric thinking. It’s features and modalities, for example the amassment of material objects or the exhibition as an open-ended format with no beginning or end, are designed to accommodate and celebrate the bourgeois individual as the pinnacle of civilization and history. However, if designed right, museums may also be one of the best places to stress questions instead of providing answers, to focus on relations instead of autonomy, and cherish difference over sameness and inclusion. Museums might be a fundamental space to rethink our relationship with the world around us.
Petra Lilja – PhD student at KTH+Konstfack
The paradigm of human exceptionality has set in motion a machinery of global effects of which design, by adding to mass-production and consumption, can be argued to be one principal cog. Informed by critical posthumanist concepts, my work aims to disrupt human-centeredness and open up for reconfigurations of design practices to better engage with troubled presents where a myriad of other species is overlooked and becoming extinct. My research project also explores multispecies-inclusive narratives and strategies for engaging and empowering scales of actors and knowledges otherwise unaddressed.
Elin Sundström – Master student at Konstfack
The arts: making something out of something else; what a promise of change that is. Posthumanism and the environmental humanities; such yummy ingredients to use. Looking at posthumanism through claywork and vice versa, I will keep exploring some posthumanist ways of relating to place, matter and multi-species relationships, with a special concern for water. What does being in deep relationship mean, what does it look like and who will we become?
Martin Malthe Borch – M.Sc.Eng Biotechnology, M.IxD, Coordinator of BioFabLab and external lecturer at Roskilde University
How do we shift from designing inert or “dead” matter for human experience to evolving systems of living matter and agency for multispecies experiences? And how can ecosystem design practices and principles be supported by existing biological and ecological models and knowledge?
Personal website, BioFabLab RUC
Svenja Keune – PhD
The separation of humans and nature that is so evident in our built environment is part of how we understand ourselves - as separate from nature. Therefore we need to rethink these boundaries and invite nature into the built environment and offer positive and empowering perspectives of designing and living with her. Posthumanist perspectives may help with the social learning processes and a reorientation of how we understand ourselves - as a part of nature.
On Textile Farming: Living Indoors, Researchgate, Instagram
Satu Heikinheimo – Impact Designer at Helsinki Design Company
We’re facing major complex global challenges that require new perspectives and methods of addressing development and change. Service and business design have traditionally been focused on users and customers. However, the world is not changed solely by designing more products and services. The world is changed by behaviour that supports positive change. In order to design desirable futures, we need to involve those who design traditionally has left out, the non-human stakeholders. I believe that the posthumanist perspective offers ways to design in a more sustainable way, not only for today’s world but to the new world.
Helsinki Design Company, Personal website, Instagram
Nonhuman Nonsense – Design and Art Studio | Leo Fidjeland & Linnea Våglund , Stockholm/Berlin
Nonhuman Nonsense is a research-driven design and art studio creating near-future fabulations and experiments somewhere between utopia and dystopia. We seek the contradictory and the paradoxical to tell stories that open the public imaginary to futures that currently seem impossible. Working in the embryonic stages of system transformation, in the realm of social dreaming and world-making processes, we aim to redirect focus to the underlying ethical and political issues, to challenge the power structures that enable and aggravate the current destruction of the (non)human world - allowing other entities to exist.
Studio website, Instagram
Tamara Lašič Jurković – Designer MFA, Ljubljana, Slovenia
When seeking ways to deal with the environmental crisis, I found it difficult to come up with viable solutions within the existing societal narratives. However, when I started looking from a posthumanist perspective, it was like rewiring my perception of how things are/could be. I think of it as a regenerative process of overcoming old patterns and unlearning ways of being by acknowledging the complexity of the web of life, appreciating the interconnectedness and exploring its entanglement. How exciting is it to wonder what can happen when after centuries of trying to stand out and separate ourselves from this mysterious mesh, we dive back into it, merge with it and start working with it instead of against it?
Anette Væring – Designer, Collective & Connecting Design Practice, Copenhagen
The aim of my practice is to shift our orientation in design towards more respectful ethics. What could design research and practice become as a more social and sustainable practice, that liberate collective dreams and powers for us as human beings as part of nature? I do mostly research-based communication and design related to nature.
With designer Petra Lilja I arrange alternative walks in different landscapes - that attempt to explore the magic and common ground of human and nature.
Studio website, Instagram
Agnes Backegårdh – Founder of Where Is My Pony Design And Communication
"Business as usual" is a dead end, and humanity needs to reform its relationship with the planet. A profound change requires both intellectual and emotional approaches and I believe that PH theories form a transformative foundation for sustainable design and innovation.
Where Is My Pony
Sebastian Gatz – MA Arch., PhD student at Konstfack/HDK-Valand
In order to avoid a (total) collapse of the planet - and this desire seems to be informed more out of human angst than out of compassion for the planet - we have to step away from a form of thinking, where "others" are at the "bottom" of the food chain and humans are at the "top". All living and nonliving entities share the space we call "universe" and are interconnected with each other in a non-hierarchical way. Accepting and encouraging the agency of non-humans in this universe points toward a more holistic form of (human-centric) "sustainable" thinking which includes respectfulness and gratitude toward (basically) everything. This form of thinking is relatively new to western (academic) minds but very old compared to non-western ontologies.
MYCKET – Mariana Alves Silva , Dr. Katarina Bonnevier and Thérèse Kristiansson , researchers at LNU
Mycket has embarked on a three year artistic research project called Trollperception in the Heartlands. In Trollperception in the Heartlands, we turn to folktales and legends to reconnect to that time when people in our regions lived closer to, and were more subordinated to nature. We invite others to delve into trolls, spirits, and animism together with us, joining the pack, and craft together, while simultaneously mediating and sharing these artworks through filmed animations - investigating what new and unforeseen knowledge can be derived from the process itself. The aim is to explore troll perception through artistic research, and to create and share viable ways of designing and living for the future. Returning people to a dialogue with Earth and its fellow creatures.
Karey Helms – Interaction designer and PhD student at KTH
My research explores the more-than-human implications of technological assemblages that proactively operate on the behalf of humans by designing within intimate settings of care. Such situations are often difficult to quantify and where an unintended consequence of technology can be revealing, shameful, or devastating for a diversity of bodily beings and meanings. This includes designing within queer scales of human bodily fluids, such as urinary infrastructures and breastmilk entanglements. Within autobiographic and speculative design methods, I draw upon feminist new materialisms and queer theories to implicate myself and unsettle bodily boundaries for a more careful design of technology.
Jana Pejoska – PhD student at the Media Lab in Aalto University, Helsinki, lecturer at UWAS, Aalto University, and researcher at Cicero Learning, Helsinki University
How we experience and relate through digital products and services is depending on how they are designed. As users of technology we see a world through them, a viewpoint that is shaping our behavior too. I am curious to unpack these spaces in between the human and technological non-human actors, to understand the relations that we form with and through them. My work has been mainly around topics of communication, collaboration and meaning-making with emerging communication and mixed reality technologies. As a design researcher in digital culture, I investigate the human experiences mediated by technology with postphenomenological goggles, with posthuman ideals while using Research Through Design methods and design prototypes to reform experiences.
Eva Durall – D.A., Designer and postdoctoral researcher at MediaLab, Aalto University, Helsinki
My design works explore sociotechnological assemblages in learning and education using participatory and speculative design approaches. Through my research, I’m interested in envisioning more-than-human futures that support diversity and inclusion of various actors in learning environments.
Gabriel Giacometti – Designer MFA
Through studying the process of decomposition I have learned that building, creating, and killing are not only human behaviours, but are natural and necessary processes for new life to arise. Yet, to avoid harmful practices, this must be done with care and in collaboration with the ecosystem. I envision a change in mindset where we could experience living with non-humans to get to know them. To understand what is to live with them? Study their behaviour to understand their needs. To understand their role and relevance to our shared ecosystems. Maybe if we better understand the non-human we will be more aware when, and if it is necessary, to alter an ecosystem, and how to do so for the benefit of the natural cycles.