VU researcher Kluiving on the Anthropocene at Dutch Design Week 2018

According to speakers about design in the Anthropocene era during Dutch Design Week, designers need to think of bigger, more ambitious solutions to the world's problems.

02/14/2019 | 4:06 PM

The discussion was part of Dezeen's Good Design for a Bad World series, which examines how design can help solve some of the big problems the world faces.

On the panel were Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs, Vrije Universiteit researcher Sjoerd Kluiving, designer and researcher Pirjo Haikola, designer Jalila Essaïdi and journalist Rab Messina.

According to Sjoerd Kluiving, who is working on landscape archaeology and an expert on the Anthropocene, "We need disciplines working together. We need the humanities working with scientists and designers. We need social scientists working with religious people. We need all kinds of different collaborations between scientists to, to tackle this problem."

While it is not yet fully accepted by science, the term ‘Anthropocene’ is beginning to be used to describe a new geological era in which humans "are creating much more stress on the earth's surface and atmosphere than all natural processes combined," said Kluiving.

Kluiving explained that this is the result of ‘the great acceleration’, a period starting just after the 2nd World War when resource consumption and pollution leapt dramatically. Kluiving added that designers, scientists and others urgently need to work together to usher in an alternative era called the ‘Sustainocene’. 

"The Sustainocene is the sort of long, geological timeframe in which we people live in harmony with our earth system, and have sustainable solutions for the society in which we're living," Kluiving explained.

For more highlights of Dezeen’s Anthropocene talk for Good Design for a Bad World and the video visit the webpage.