For the second class at Parole’s School of Design Critique we are moving the classroom out into nature for a weekend retreat at the organic permaculture farm FARMA in the middle of the Swedish forest. The theme for this class is to explore the relationship between design and nature – and what better way to do that than being in nature, where we can relearn how to eat from it, live with it, create from it, think with it and care for it?
The incentive for the theme Design & Nature is rooted in the environmental challenges we are facing as inhabitants of this planet. Over the weekend we will address two aspects of this challenge: One is the systemic and structural challenge regarding our responsibility as designers designing in a broken economy solely focused on growth, and the other is the natural instinct of creating and designing, through the manipulation and dialog with natural resources.
With both these design aspects in mind the geological notion of the Anthropocene, where we as humans for the first time in history are the very force of nature that effects the climate is apparent, because where does that leave us as designing human beings? What implications should this knowledge have for our profession, the way we do design education, design businesses, and how we develop, produce, consume and use the objects that surround us and the systems we are entangled in? Can we at all change the structures or should we try to set ourselves free from the them?
The program will run from 17 AM Friday afternoon until 12 AM Sunday.
It will consist of three lectures:
- One by PhD and industrial designer Mette Bak-Andersen on sustainable dialogues with materials and the knowledge production of design.
- A Parole’s School of Design Critique presentation on the notion of Transition Design by Johanne Aarup Hansen
- A “lecturing” tour by FARMAs Henriette Kruse and Henno Matzen around the farm with focus on the relationship between design, nature and sustainable living.
Last but not least wild earth animal Jonny Gonzales will do a wood carving workshop with us, literarily exploring the relationship between designing with nature, and we encourage thoughtful and critical thinking while we create and design with the natural materials that don’t harm us or the nature that surrounds us.
FARMA will during the weekend provide us with simple, nourishing and wild food experiences, with a culinary dinner on Saturday evening as the high point.
Free camping areas at the farm or the nearby lake will be the temporary settlement for the weekend, so bring your tent and warm clothes, as we will be outside most of the time.
Saturday and Sunday morning it will be possible to join an excursion to the nearby swimming lake and take a refreshing dip.
The price includes settlement, meals and educational program.
- FARMA: An organic permaculture farm located in the middle of the Swedish forest initiated by the Danish couple Henriette Kruse and Henno Matzen. Henriette has a background in graphic design and creative entrepreneurship, and Henno has a background as a chef and organic farmer.
- Mette Bak-Andersen: Designer and researcher dedicated to changing the way we design things. She was educated as a designer in Barcelona in 2005 and has a PhD in sustainable design and materials from the Royal Danish Academy of Architecture and Design. For more than 12 years she has been working with sustainability and the transition to a circular economy in her design practice, in design education and in her research, both in Denmark and internationally. In 2013 she founded the Material Design Lab at Copenhagen School of Design & Technology, which she directed until 2018.
- Jonny Gonzales: Teacher and advocate for the wild and natural world. He picked up woodcarving 5 years ago as a place for creative expression and connectivity with nature. Through his art and the sharing of it, he wishes to help reconnect people back to the raw power, beauty and simplicity Mother Nature brings when we find our way back to her.
- Johanne Aarup Hansen: Holds an MA in interaction design and is the initiator of the Parole’s School of Design Critique. She works in various collectives, among others, apart from Parole, she is exploring the relationship between design and the economy and practice of economics in Pengespekulation and addresses precarious working conditions in the cooperative Flexwerker.
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About Parole’s School of Design Critique and the fall of 2021
Parole’s School of Design Critique is an independent self-organized educational initiative that aims to establish a critical design discourse in Denmark in both written and practice-based formats. The idea is to create a social space and network of people interested in exploring critical perspectives on design in a forum where we put our own practices and reflections into action with each other and the theoretical themes of the classes. The school serves as the social, discursive and physical complement to Parole.cc, a new digital platform for written design critique.
The classes are for all people working within the different fields of design, in commercial or artistic practices, design theoreticians and other people involved in design related work. In addition we welcome all ages, abilities (with the ‘aber dabei’ that we will be moving around and living outside for this event), gender identities or gender expressions, race, ethnicities, religions or believes.
The fall of 2021 will consist of two classes dedicated to exploring critical perspectives on the relationship between design and nature, sustainability and eco-design, initiated in the midst of the climate change crisis.
With the first class focusing on the materiality of nature as a valid companion in our designed world, the second class will focus on another companionship — the relationship between design and the nonhuman creatures that surround us and the biodiversity and sixth extinction crisis. This leads us to the questions of who isn’t invited into or forgotten in the design process and how to design with others than the human perspective in mind.
Parole’s School of Design Critique is kindly supported by The Danish Arts Foundation.