Contribution for ACDHT: Asian Conference of Design History and Theory, 31 August-1 September 2019, Kyushu Sangyo University, Fukuoka, Japan
At least since the industrialization and its influential consequences in the twentieth century, it has become difficult or even impossible to perceive nature as untouched without perceiving and contemplating the influence of man. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to maintain the dichotomy nature / culture, which makes it necessary for designers to expand their self-image.
Throughout history, the relationship between man and nature has become evident in the efforts of the life reform movement and ecology movement since the 1970s. In the term of social design, since the end of the twentieth century, people have been trying to conceive of human beings and their natural, social, political, technical, and economic environment as unified which can only be optimized if all human needs are taken into account in the design.
With mankind’s growing dominance of its environment, the question now arises to what extent elements of a former autonomous nature such as animals, plants or landscapes have long since become cultural products that follow human design intentions through design interventions. Currently, these tendencies of new dimensions and configurations are reflected in the terms speculative design, critical design, or next nature design. The tasks go far beyond the classic design functions such as need fulfillment and problem solving. The requirements of the definition for a new nature shift from a philosophical to a creative question that becomes effective and meaningful through the use of intuition, interactive experiments, and collaborative encounters by means of a design discourse.
This paper refers to a current self-image of historically evolved perceptions of mankind / nature relationships to broaden design as a fictional speculation about nature and culture.