The field of design has radically expanded. As a practice, design is no longer limited to the world of material objects, but rather extends from carefully crafted individual looks and online identities, to the surrounding galaxies of personal devices, new materials, interfaces, networks, systems, infrastructures, data, chemicals, organisms, and genetic codes, as Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, curators of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, put it in their manifesto (→).
Our response to the Biennial’s theme—Are We Human?—draws from “The Obligation to Self-Design” (e-flux Journal 0, →), a text by Boris Groys in which a genealogy of design is traced from the design of the soul and the design of the self to "the design of life as a whole." Superhumanity seeks to explore and challenge our understanding of “design” by engaging with and departing from the concept of the “self.” Superhumanity aims to probe the idea that we are and always have been continuously reshaped by the artifacts we shape, to which we ask: who designed the lives we live today? What are the forms of life we inhabit, and what new forms are currently being designed? Where are the sites, and what are the techniques, to design others?
Over fifty writers, scientists, artists, architects, designers, philosophers, historians, archeologists and anthropologists will bring new insight to these and related questions over the coming four months. Contributions will be published both on the e-flux website and dispatched as emails.
To join the Superhumanitymailing list, please subscribe to e-flux Architecture here.
In addition to online publication, a Superhumanity reading room will be exhibited from October 22 to November 20 at DEPO (Tütün Deposu Lüleci Hendek Caddesi No.12, Tophane 34425 İstanbul) as a part of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial.
Beatriz Colomina - Nikolaus Hirsch - Anton Vidokle - Mark Wigley