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PROGRAMMING & CURATION


Pivot 2021

2021

with Renata Leitao and Lesley-Ann Noel (Pluriversal Design Special Interest Group, DRS)

Dismantling/reassembling — Tools for alternative futures

The Pluriversal Design Special Interest Group of the Design Research Society (DRS) and the Public Visualization Lab of OCAD University hosted an international discussion on decoloniality and societal transformation. Pivot 2021 aims to identify tools and practices of dismantling and reassembling that could favor ways of reshaping human presence on Earth, as well as concrete cases of alternative future-making from all around the world.

By tools, we refer to not only artifacts but also to services, symbols, rules, institutions, policies, pedagogies, systems, environments, and so on (Illich 1975). Briefly, tools constitute aspects of social life that we deliberately create to (re)shape the tangible reality.

As the world faces multiple colossal, interconnecting crises—COVID-19, social unrest around our fragile sphere of Earth, climate crisis, plastic pollution, deforestation, ravaging wildfires, the frightening spread of authoritarianism, and so on—there is an increasing awareness that the Western civilizational model and ways of life have reached a crossroads. What is currently asked from humanity is more than damage reduction, but a profound societal transformation: reconceiving cultural and economic models and changing our ways of being, thinking, learning, making, relating, and so on.

The Pivot 2021 theme focuses on the tools that we might design and use to dismantle the structures of the current civilizational model (aka patriarchal capitalist Modernity) and to reassemble the debris into new models, converting debris into the nurturing humus for worlds in the making.