Master Talk: Research Institute of Botanical Linguistics

Posted on April 26, 2021

Let’s design with monsters

An attempt for interconnected (design) practices

Design emerged as a human-centred practice. While at the same time perpetuating and coping with the environmental crisis and inequalities, it too often follows dualistic perspectives. If we as designers aim to contribute efficaciously we have to question the core beliefs our design principles are based on.

With the critique of modernist dualisms and the growing understanding of complex ecosystems, the relationships and interdependencies between human and more-than-human rises to ever bigger attention. The posthuman discourse (Haraway et al.) calls so neatly separated spheres into question and helps to think and practice the decentering of the human perspective. Consequently, by familiarizing ourselves with those perspectives, we as designers and researchers need to re-evaluate our knowledge practices, common design decision processes and fundamental assumptions. This is the agenda of the Research Institute of Botanical Linguistics (RIBL). Shifting perspectives and exploring practices of «thinking-with» the more-than-human makes it possible to imagine and to speculate about alternative (co)existences towards a sensitive, empathic, and interconnected way of «worlding».

RIBL follows inquiry-based design and research practices. It understands itself as a facilitator for interdisciplinary spaces for dialogue and collaborative exploration. Through dinner events, hands-on workshops, performances, reading groups etc. – playfully and ironically – RIBL aims to engage with more-than-human communities.

During the Master-Talk, RIBL will provide an overview of different projects with a focus on their applied methods. Through highlighting some posthumanist and feminist (design) theory they will contextualize their ambitions and practices.

The Research Institute of Botanical Linguistics is a design and research collaboration between Lucia Kolesárová from Košice, Daniela Rota from Zurich, Marius Förster and Meike Hardt from Cologne, since 2017.

When: 11 May 2021

Time: 06 pm (Zurich)