This fall I will be co-teaching (with Chris Woebken) a Weather Worlds course at ITP.
Weather Worlds is a studio course that explores the role that design plays in public engagement on climate disruption. In this outcome-focused course, the students will design pop-up public engagement interventions for the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP24), which will take place in December 2018 in Katowice, Poland. The designs will be created in consultation with Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre. The aim is to create blueprints for design approaches that can be adapted and replayed in different contexts and settings to create interventions sensitive to and inclusive of local challenges and participation. A handoff that includes a local re-interpretation of the design is a key aspect of this approach.
In this semester’s Weather Worlds studio we will focus on the impacts of climate change on food systems and vice versa – on the impact of our food systems on climate. We will design interventions through which participants apprehend how by simply eating they connect to supply chains, networks, and institutions that extend well beyond their families, communities or countries. Specifically, the interventions will connect the international conference participants at COP with the local polish food-system-and-climate-impact issues. Understanding the paths that the carbon we ingest takes through the myriad material configurations and their sociotechnical orderings expose the fundamental interconnections between the matter of our bodies, climate change impacts, and the agricultural production and consumption systems that we have put in place. It further lets us consider what can be done about it, from local context-specific issues to global policy.
The partnership with the humanitarian sector will broaden and amplify the impact of this project, facilitating and developing engagements worldwide. This course produces a Weather Worlds platform that will investigate forms of experimental pedagogy, communication, and participation in engaging the public and multiple stakeholders on issues linked to climate disruption.