Human-centered design is one of the most popular slogans among designers and companies in recent years. But if we look closer, it turns out that design has always been focused on mankind, and at least in Western culture homo sapiens used to be considered a measure of all things – a perfect example of such approach could be the famous drawing of a Vitruvian man created by Leonardo da Vinci. What would happen if we challenged this concept? Can we even think of design whose subjects would be non-humans: plants and animals? How could such an approach rebuild the existing relationships between human and non-human animals as well as other living organisms?
The purpose of the Zoepolis. Design for Plants and Animals exhibition is to consider the possibility of creating a human-non-human community that would be mediated through material objects. The curators of the exhibition, Monika Rosińska and Agata Szydłowska, will look for solutions that treat animals and plants as full-fledged project processors, taking into account their needs and rights. At the same time, they do not forget about man, who – precipitated from the pedestal of a privileged species – enters into a complex, co-habitable and competitive relationship with other animals and living organisms. The title refers to the concept of zoopolis by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka which includes granting animals citizenship. However, in the title of the exhibition, the word zoo has been replaced by zoe, which means bare life, vitality, in other words, something that is common to all living creatures. Thus, the exhibition will try to look at design from a radical non-anthropocentric perspective.
The main part of the exhibition will be focused on the projects completed in cooperation with invited designers and artists who are critical in interpreting selected issues such as the species hierarchy, companion animals, or the human scale in architecture and urban planning. An integral part of the project will be the accompanying publication that is going to be released in 2018.
The exhibition is co-financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education under the National Programme for the Development of the Humanities in the years 2016-2019. It is a part of a project entitled Cartographies of strangeness, otherness, and (ex)(in)clusion. The perspective of contemporary philosophy and art (head of the project: Prof. Magdalena Środa, Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Warsaw).
November 17, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Opening: November 17, 2017, 19:00
Curators: Monika Rosińska, Agata Szydłowska
Exhibiton design: Pigalopus – Malwina Borowiec, Karolina Chodur
Graphic design: Małgorzata Gurowska
Participants: Fontarte, Małgorzata Gurowska, Karolina Kotowska and Łukasz Kowalski, Kwiaciarnia Grafiki, Bartosz Mucha, Nenukko, Alicja Patanowska, Maciej Siuda, Michał Szota