In this presidential election cycle, the candidates have been dogged by questions about everything from their foreign policy chops to their gaffe-prone press conferences. But design theorist Tony Fry has another burning political question, and he argues it’s the only one that really matters: Is liberal democracy itself a viable path to sustainability?
Fry – a major figure in sustainability studies and head of the Masters in Design Futures program at Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art in Australia – will share his ideas on design as an engine for radical political, social and environmental change at a lecture this Wednesday, September 19 at 6 pm in the Chace Center.
“We all confront an unavoidable choice: we either support the status quo…or we choose a path of change,” says Fry, a farm forester, philosopher and author of the 2011 book Design As Politics. “To choose change means knowing how to identify, create and become an agent of change who is able to mobilize design to this end. For non-designers and designers, the potential capability of design as an instrument of change needs to be grasped.”
Fry’s talk, Design in the Age of Planetary Unsettlement, will inaugurate a first-ever lecture series by RISD’s Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies program, an experimental undergraduate pilot program launched this fall. The rigorous, interdisciplinary program is being offered through the department of History, Philosophy + the Social Sciences, which is sponsoring the lecture along with the departments of Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture.