Judith Dörrenbächer is a design researcher and teacher of design theory at Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. Her doctorate is on quasi-ensouled technological environments and new concepts of subjectivity.
Here she transfers theories of so called “New Animism” to design theory. She studied at Köln International School of Design and worked for several research and exhibition projects dealing with urban culture, subversive design and social utopia e.g. in Taipei, Tbilisi, Basel and Cologne.
Her co-edited book Beseelte Dinge. Design aus Perspektive des Animismus will be published soon.
Performative Experiments. New Modes of Critique and Subjectivity Provoked by Design
The concept of an autonomous human subject, detached from the non-human world made our growth-oriented society possible in the first place. Currently not only the progressive growth is questioned but also the related idea of the autonomous subject. In cultural and social sciences but also in design there are claims for circular and relational thinking, resolving the distinctions between subject and object or humans and world. These approaches on the one hand provide a useful non-anthropocentric change of perspective but at the same time seem to endanger the idea of a critical subject. This contribution deals with approaches in design that experiment with new modes of subjectivity. What could critique and subjectivity be like in a non-anthropocentric, non-growth-oriented society? How could design experiments provoke attachment to the world but self-reflection at the same time?