Designing the Techno-Anthropocene

There is a quest for dealing with how we will approach and possibly solve emergent and incumbent challenges and problems of current society and world. These challenges and problems are ubiquitous and emerge in myriads of fields and domains. What is common is that technology is to be considered as both the problem and the solution, and what lies in between. The route until now in the Anthropocene is defined by ‘making’ and constructing.

Technologies and infrastructures are ‘made’, constructed and designed, and hence the habitats of our current everyday lives across the globe.

The ‘setting aside for’ dimension of technologies is about design. Spaces, systems, artefacts are designed with more or less clear intentions and awareness to their repercussions. In this PHTR conference, we want to put emphasis on the ‘making’ and designing of the contemporary in order to shed light on the conditions that governs our contemporary lives, and shapes our futures. The world needs design as both an analytical and reflective tool, and design as activism and interventionism. This 3rd Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations Conference open for both approaches, and possible hybrids in between.

Contemporary conceptualizations on what it means to be human in a world focus on the Anthropocene, and we want to open for how this is yet another sign of human hubris, where we as humanity consider ourselves as masters of both nature and technology. We are calling for a serious and hybrid approach where technology finds its natural place as co-determent and co-constituent for how this world is construed and (re)acts – namely the Techno-Anthropocene. Technology is determent and constituent part of the equation and if we blind ourselves on this unequivocal fact then we are doomed.

We must move on many paths at one and the same time, and the frame of mobility is crucial to understand and intervene. Mobility is just not to move from one place to another in physical space and time, but also to alter, transform and revolutionize mental, cognitive, and behavioral patterns, which are all technologically mediated.

The world is shaped and troubled by multiple movements. Refugees, migrations, tourists, commuters – all human bodies circulating in systems and technologically mediated landscapes defined by the techno-anthropocene. However, ‘mobile matter’ and mobile materials are adding to this complexity. Regardless if we are talking goods, and vehicles or flows of pollutants, the multiple material Mobilities are playing their part in staging the techno-anthropocene. Ecologies of moving matter, animals, and atmospheres takes contemporary techno-anthropocene Mobilities beyond simple human and non-human, material and immaterial distinctions. The ‘making’ and designing of these mobility conditions, as well as their challenge via new interventionist, critical-creative proposals is what is at stake with this conference’s focus on the techno-anthropocene.

We ask the question: How can we think the Techno-Anthropocene and at the same time indicate possible strategies and programs for moving? In other words how can we design the Techno-Anthropocene?


LARS BOTIN / Associate Professor – Department of Planning

OLE B. JENSEN / Professor – Department of Architecture and Media Technology



A. C. Meyers Vænge 15
2450 København