LASER Talks in Auckland | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

LASER Talks in Auckland

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LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) is Leonardo/ISAST's international program of evening gatherings that brings artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations.

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CHAIRS: Janine Randerson and Andrew Denton


You are warmly invited a presentation and panel conversation with communication designer and author Dr. Joanna Boehnert from Loughborough University, U.K, on Friday 10th May, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Room WE305A, AUT School of Art and Design. AUT WE Block. 23 St Paul St, Auckland, 1010, AUT City Campus, Auckland.

This discussion is the first Auckland LASER talk (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous), an International platform for informal conversations that bring together artists, designers, scientists, activists and communities. The AUT School of Art and Design are joining with the LASER platform in a new Antipodean node of this network.

Following her presentation, Joanna will continue a discussion with guest respondents Associate Professor Barbara Bollard and Associate Professor Sebastian Leuzinger, directors of the Institute for Applied Ecology New Zealand based at AUT.

Applied Ecology New Zealand.

The conversation will be facilitated by LASER chair Associate Professor Janine Randerson, author of Weather as Medium: Toward a Meteorological Art (Leonardo Book series, MIT Press, 2018) and Associate Professor Andrew Denton.



Dr. Joanna Boehnert : “Design, Ecology, Politics: Towards the Ecocene”

Despite accumulative social and technological innovation, the design industry continues to face significant obstacles when addressing issues of sustainability. Climate change and other systemic ecological problems demands shifts on an order of magnitude well beyond the trajectory of business-as-usual. I will argue that these complex problems require addressing the epistemological error in knowledge systems reproducing unsustainable designed worlds. Ecological literacy is a basis for nature-inspired design. Ecologically engaged knowledge must inform design strategies across the psychological, the social and the environmental domains. With the expansive three ecologies perspective, interventions at the intersection of design and economics can enable systems transitions. This theoretical work informs a framing of the current epoch in ways that create a foundation for the creation of regenerative, distributed and redirected design economies.



Selected Publications

Boehnert J (2014) ‘Ecological Perception: Seeing Systems’ Proceedings of DRS 2014, Design Research Society. Umea, Sweden.

Boehnert, J. (2016). Data Visualisation Does Political Things. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

Boehnert J (2018) Ecological Theory in Design: Participant Designers in an Age of Entanglemented. Rachel Beth Egenhoefer. Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design. London: Routledge. 

Boehnert, J. (2018) Design, Ecology, Politics: Towards the Ecocene. London: Bloomsbury.

Boehnert, J. (2018) Anthropocene Economics and Design: Heterodox Economics for Design Transitions. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation. RSD6 Special Issue.

Boehnert, J. (2019) Ecocene Design Economies: Three Ecologies of Systems Transitions. Running With Scissors - Co-Designing with Nature, European Academy of Design 2019 conference proceedings. The Design Journal Special Issue. 



Dr. Joanna Boehnert @ecocene is interested in the visual communication of complex problems and the politics of ecological transitions. She is the founder of EcoLabs and a lecturer at Loughborough University. Her book Design/ Ecology/ Politics: Towards the Ecocene was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2018.


Lecturer in Design and the Creative Industries

Graphic Communication and Illustration

School of the Arts, Loughborough Uhiversity



Recent publications:

Monograph: Design, Ecology, Politics: Towards the Ecocene (2018)

Article: Anthropocene Economics and Design: Heterodox Economics for Design Transitions (2018)

Book Chapter: Contradictions in the Twitter Social Factory in Digital Objects, Digital Subjects: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Capitalism, Labour and Politics in the Age of Big Data (2019)

Book chapter: Ecological Theory in Design Participant Designers in an Age of Entanglement in Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design (2018)


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LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. LASER Talks were founded in 2008 by Bay Area LASER Chair Piero Scaruffi and are in over 30 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website

The mission of the LASERs is to provide the general public with a snapshot of the cultural environment of a region and to foster interdisciplinary networking.

May 10th, 2019 4:00 PM through  6:00 PM
WZ Block
1st Floor Lobby, 52 St Paul Street
Auckland CBD
Hybrid / Auckland, AUK
New Zealand
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