Please join us on November 20 at 1:00pm (Adam House Lecture Theatre, Adam House, 3 Chambers Street) for Simone Ferracina’s research seminar “Towards a Glossary of Exaptive Design.”
Whereas the merits of up-cycling and circular design are canonically defined vis-à-vis status-quo economic and socio-cultural orthodoxies or taken for granted, this project unpicks the theoretical assumptions that underpin such practices, showing that they perpetuate the same hylomorphic bias and authorial prejudice that generate waste in the first place. As an alternative, the seminar introduces an exaptive paradigm for design: a critical and methodological toolset for engaging the durational and anthropocenic materiality of the third millennium, expanding the palette of design to material discards and other items not traditionally considered within its purview. This approach, which is inspired by (and builds upon) evolutionary biology, hacking, adaptive reuse, and improvisational practices such as collage, adhocism, bricolage, kit-bashing and jazz, refuses to reduce pre-existing material substrates to abstract lists of properties or featureless lumps, encountering them on their own terms—as situated individuals and co-authors.
The seminar is structured around the figure of the glossary, not as an alphabetical (linear) sequence or set of arguments, but as a room—an enclosure for the collection and interweaving of key terms that, diverted and reclaimed, introduce an ecology of preoccupations, formatting protocols, values, translations and re-articulations.