With environmental degradation, and ever-accelerating climate catastrophe, reports of plastic islands and toxic waste, there is no doubt that design is a field caught up in these processes. According to some calculations, 95% of decisions affecting the environment are made at the product design stage. However, this does not mean that design alone can stop adverse changes, to “save the world.” But perhaps without appropriate, environmentally sensitive designs, any change will be almost impossible.
The lecture will follow the evolution of ecological thought in design from the late 19th century till today. We will see how changing perceptions of our planet and a growing awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment have influenced design thinking.
Agata Szydłowska – curator, researcher, book writer. Graduate of history of art at the University of Warsaw, the School of Social Sciences of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, PhD in ethnology. Head of the Department of History and Theory of Design at the Faculty of Design, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She is interested in the social and political contexts of design. Through curatorial activities and humanistic reflection, she explores design beyond anthropocentrism.