The second cycle of Strelka Institute’s The Terraforming design research program is underway with new researchers exploring the geotechnical, geourban, and geopolitical conditions by which a viable planetarity can be conceived, modeled, and articulated.
The 2021 cohort consists of thirty-two researchers from sixteen countries, with backgrounds in architecture, biodesign, philosophy, data science, and many other disciplines.
The five-month postgraduate program kicked off with an offline module in Istanbul, led by Program Director Benjamin Bratton, and is continuing online with seminars, design workshops, and guest lectures from leading Russian and international experts. Among them are Jussi Parikka, Nicolay Boyadjiev, Angelina Davydova, Geoff Manaugh, Nandita Sharma, Thomas Moynihan, Anya Bernstein, Robert Pietrusko, Nicholas DeMonchaux, Chen Qiufan, Reza Negarestani, Blaise Agüera y Arcas, Anton Vidokle, Helen Hester, Nick Srnicek, and many others.
While the first year of The Terraforming emphasized the remaking of the planet itself (and remaking ourselves thereby), this year is emphasizing remaking ourselves (and remaking the planet thereby) and focuses on the following themes:
Populations considers the question “Where will the people go?” During the pandemic, many resorted back to their country of passport, but this “great filtering” only highlighted how artificial that logic is, and how much alternatives are both needed and possible.
Zoning Earth examines the myriad of ways that the planet is formally subsectioned, both spatially and temporally. Once more we are interested in alternatives to the present arrangements, and how the urban planning logic of functional zoning might be applied at planetary scale.
Anthropoforming is the process by which humans remake themselves and by which they are continuously remade by their environments. The program is interested in the ways that planetarity is composed at biological, epidemiological, and prosthetic scales.
Modes of Planetarity expands The Terraforming’s work on “the planetary” by explicitly staging a confrontation between two modes of “planetarity”—the philosophical and the astronomic—so as to consider how each could, and should, correspond with and reinforce the other.