The Climate Domesday Book
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The Climate Domesday Book includes contributions from climate-conscious writers, artists, research scientists, designers and activists from Australia and the UK. The book is a speculative design, intended to provoke public thought and action on the climate emergency and to explore new ways of communicating through design and technology. It demonstrates how design research can bring together diverse disciplinary perspectives, to re-present and amplify a plurality of voices from across temporal and geographic zones. As a speculative design with multi-modal forms of communication (writing, talking, reading, listening, watching), its final manifestation is intended to show the power of human ingenuity and common cause. It is a book as a curated event; as a programme; as a protest; as a survey of ideas. It owes its coming into being to 1960’s counterculture, to the grand ideas of R.Buckminster Fuller and to the electric information age books of Marshall McLuhan, Jerome Agel and Quentin Fiore.
In the creation of an experimental hybrid print-digital book on a topic as essential as the future of energy and the planet, design research becomes more than assembling and packaging (a ‘first order’ concern) but an uncertain, collaborative, and activist mode of knowledge-making (a ‘fourth order’).1 It attempts to make sense of a complex challenge (saving planetary species from extinction), invites dialogue between readers and writers and – eventually – stimulate action. It is a speculative design that provides space for contemplation, for inspiration, for engaging the pragmatic and the imaginary. “But it’s just a book. How can a book make a difference?” To which we would respond: “What world-changing events in the world have not been book-inspired?” We want it to be the first book of many: for others to take our technology, our designs and our ideas and make their own Climate Domesday Book in their city. Our Book-of-the-Future is a book, podcast, music video, poem, a window onto ground-breaking science, a manifesto-in-the-making, a clarion call, a gallery-within-a-gallery, a cultural census, a design of possibilities. It is more than a work of art. It is a design with purpose.
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