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Degrowth Vienna 2020 - Transformation, Design and Utopias

Antonia Ney, Bernd Sommer, Joy-Fabienne Lösel

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Vienna Conference 2020


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Standard session (discussion following 2 presentations)

  1. Sustainability, transformation & utopias
    The presentation discusses the role of positive visions for a transformation towards a more ecologically sustainable and socially just society. Firstly, it is argued that in the context of modern societies something like ecological sustainability can already itself be regarded as a stark utopia. So far, no society exists that can be characterized as modern and whose metabolism is not based on the destructive exploitation of nature. The second part of the paper introduces the concepts of “concrete utopia” (Ernst Bloch & Rudi Dutschke) and “real utopias” (Erik Olin Wright). Finally, it is argued that both kinds of utopias are likely to be required to achieve profound social-ecological transformation that will probably take a considerable period of time.
    Presenters: Bernd Sommer (Europa-Universität Flensburg)

  2. Transformation by design? - video
    The central question of socio-ecological transformation is whether it will take place “by design” or “by disaster” (Sommer/Welzer 2014:27). In the discourse this question is rhetorically answered with “by design”. But what role does design play in social-ecological transformation? The lecture will present growth-related problems in design and give an overview of two main strategies. It deals with both: The challenges design has to face in a time of social-ecological crises, but also with its potential. All will be in reference to the student-organized teaching project “Degrow Design!” and the resulting publication.
    Presenters: Antonia Ney (Student. Lehrkraft WiSem2019 Bauhaus-Universität Weimar), Joy-Fabienne Lösel (Student. Lehrkraft WiSem2019 Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)

Language: German and English

Technical details: Standard T1_Transformation, Design and Utopias.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 643MB

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