The aim of this project is to interrogate the concept of catastrophe and explore anti-catastrophic practices to expose the longer-term structural causes and implications of catastrophes and catastrophic thinking, rhetoric, and imaginaries. The focus throughout is on how novel approaches in design, architecture, and technology can open possibilities for navigating a catastrophic world, but also expand epistemic horizons beyond apocalyptic thinking. The project outputs include an edited volume, offline and online exhibitions, and a series of online publications, called ‘Dispatches’.
With ‘Dispatches’ – a short-form, multimedia, online publishing format – we hope to move past the news cycle-based temporality of contemporary catastrophism, as well as traditional academic publishing.
In the second dispatch on “Energy” edited by Johanna Mehl and Moritz Ingwersen contributors seek out remediations of catastrophe that reject the dichotomy of utopia and apocalypse to foreground the uneasy and ambiguous emplacements of energy, where shifting constellations of power and the imagination, more-than-human ecologies and socio-technical infrastructures continuously intersect. You can read the full editorial statement here. With contributions by Kat Austen, Dominic Boyer, Jordan B. Kinder, Johanna Mehl, Rhys Williams.
‘Against Catastrophe’ is led by Dr. Orit Halpern, Lighthouse Professor and Chair of Digital Cultures and Societal Change at Technische Universität Dresden. The core project team led by Sudipto Basu is based out of Concordia University (Montreal), MIT, and TU Dresden. With illustrations and design treatment by T.S. Halpern.
‘Against Catastrophe’ is funded by Fonds de recherche du Québec and the Swiss National Science Foundation, and is part of the larger Governing Through Design research cluster.