by CORI MOORE, Point-Blank International & INGA TREITLER, Anthropology Imagination
Ever heard about the “the turning of the bones” in Madagascar?
Once every five years or so, families get together for a rambunctious gathering at their ancestral crypt as they exhume the bodies. It’s a very lively affair – family members share recent news with the deceased, ask for advice and blessings, and even take them for a little dance…
Now, for many people, the thought of waltzing with the late Great Aunt Ingrid and asking her opinion of your new fiancé is downright inconceivable. But that’s not where our inhibitions begin. Let’s face it: most of us won’t even talk about “it” until we absolutely have to. It’s not just that death is not often thought of as appropriate dinnertime conversation. It’s more than that. Talking about death is stubborn and culturally rule bound – much to our detriment, it turns out.
We’re in an age where there’s an abundance of human-centric services; a wealth of ‘smart’ things...
INGA TREITLER and FRANK ROMAGOSA
Do no harm; communicate and collaborate; keep learning, keep teaching; instigate meaningful change; make theory action.
—Designers Accord code of conduct (designersaccord.org)
Every profession bears the responsibility to understand the circumstance which enables its existence.
For an exile, habits of life, expression or activity in the new environment inevitably occur against the memory of these things in another environment. Thus both the new and the old environments are vivid, actual, occurring together contrapuntally. There is a unique pleasure in this sort of apprehension.
—Edward Said, Reflections on Exile (1984)
What kind of times are these we live and work in? Last October, many of us left the EPIC2008 meetings with a drive to apply “sustainability” thinking to our research and design. It is no coincidence that those meetings were hosted in Copenhagen, a city in a region where design is an unabashed element of all public decision making and environmental...