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Following a collective learning-by-doing approach, the students will explore, discuss, reflect, ideate and exchange perspectives, questions and thought experiments, while exercising their collective imaginations with long-term, critical and planetary mindsets to navigate the complexity, scale and speed of change of the multidimensional implications that the digital economy has in the environmental emergency.

Keywords: Critical, degrowth, plurality

Learning Objectives

  • Develop skills to work effectively as a member of groups and networks of people with different levels of expertise, cultural and professional backgrounds.
  • Empower students to align their individual and collective learning experience with the cultural, ecological and societal transformations shaping this decade.
  • Develop a critical understanding of the socio-economic, socio-technical, and eco-sociological aspects of digital technologies, alongside the ethical, social, environmental and cultural implications emerging from their use at scale.

Methodological Strategies

  • Lectures
  • Group discussions
  • Collective decision-making and making
  • Field trip


The course will follow a week-long, in-person studio format, divided in 4 sessions. Students will organize as one collective around a creative challenge and organize in interdependent smaller teams.

Session I: Introduction to the Designing in a State of Climate Emergency

Lecture + Group discussion + Positionality statement workshop

Session II: Discussing our relationship with time and growth

Debate on Degrowth + Guest lecturer: Gustavo Nogueira, Temporality Lab

Session III: Solar-centered designing

Field trip focused on sentipensar + alternative knowledge exploration in groups

Session IV: Remembering Futures

Workshop on visual storytelling + collective reflection


  • Digital postcards/posters and proto-videos
  • Reflection essays

Grading Method

Percentage Description
50% Self-assessment of individual engagement
50% Self-assessment of collective learning

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)


Additional Resources

Related articles and essays:

Recommended publications and books:

  • Logic Magazine
  • Branch Magazine
  • 'Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime' by Bruno LaTour
  • ‘Poetics of Relation’ by Édouard Glissant
  • ‘The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins’ by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
  • ‘Blockchain Chicken Farm’ by Xiaowei Wang
  • ‘Critical Hope’ by Dr. Kari Grain
  • ‘Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of - Plants’ by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • ‘The Future Is Degrowth A Guide to a World beyond Capitalism’ by Matthias Schmelzer, Aaron Vansintjan, and Andrea Vetter
  • ‘Design Justice’ by Sasha Costanza-Chock
  • ‘Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds’ by Arturo Escobar
  • ‘Black Quantum Futurism Theory & Practice, Volume I’ by Rasheedah Phillips
  • ‘Beyond Nature and Culture’ by Philippe Descola
  • ‘Stories of your Life and Others’ by Ted Chiang
  • ‘The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900’ by David Edgerton


Andres Colmenares

Andres Colmenares

Co-founder of IAM

Andres Colmenares (CO/ES) is the co-founder of IAM, the creative research lab helping citizens and organisations to anticipate, understand and address the socioecological challenges and opportunities emerging from the coevolution of digital technologies and internet cultures. He is also strategic advisor for WeTransfer’s Supporting Act Foundation, co-director of The Billion Seconds Institute and director of the Master in Design for Responsible Artificial Intelligence systems at ELISAVA.