PhD Seminar: Designing with/in Crisis: Envisioning paths for pluriversal transitions by Arturo Escobar

[Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event originally planned for 3 Mar. is going to be postponed to 17 Mar. starting at 8:30 AM tentatively.]

This talk proposes construing design as being in crisis in a world in crisis and, conversely, reimagining design as a praxis for transitions based on the principle of radical relationality. It discusses six axes or principles for “civilizational transitions,” concerning the re-communalization of social life; the re-localization of productive activities; the strengthening of autonomy; the depatriarchalization, de-racialization and decolonization of social relations; the re-integration with the Earth; and the construction of meshworks among transformative alternatives. These principles are discussed in terms of their designing implications.


Activist-researcher from Cali, Colombia; former Professor of Anthropology and Political Ecology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Arturo Escobar is an activist-researcher from Cali, Colombia, working on territorial struggles against extractivism; postdevelopmentalist and post-capitalist transitions; and ontological design. He was professor of anthropology and political ecology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, until 2018, and is currently affiliated with the PhD Program in Design and Creation, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia, and the PhD Program in Environmental Sciences, Universidad del Valle, Cali. Over the past twenty-five years, he has worked closely with several Afro-Colombian, environmental and feminist organizations on these issues.  His most well-known book is Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (1995, 2nd Ed. 2011).  His most recent books are: Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (2018), and Pluriversal Politics: The Real and the Possible (2020).  He is currently working on a book on relationality (Designing Relationally: Making and Restor(y)ing Life) with Michal Osterweil and Kriti Sharma.

Join this seminar on Zoom
URL: https://zoom.us/j/98399405052
Meeting ID: 983 9940 5052
Passcode: 657323

  • All PolyU PhD students are welcome.
  • This seminar, hosted on Zoom Meeting, allows only authenticated users (i.e. Zoom logged-in users).
  • Event registration is required (click HERE). Registrants will receive a reading list prior to this seminar.