fbpx Doctoral defence: Jomy Joseph | The Oslo School of Architecture and Design


Doctoral defence: Jomy Joseph

Jomy Joseph will defend his PhD thesis "ReFuturing Studies: Rehumanizing Futures through/by Design" at AHO on March 27th. The defence will be in English. 

Trail lecture: 10.00
The title of the trail lecture will be: The State of the Art of Knowledge Creation in Research through Design: Perspectives, Positions & Examples.

Defence: 12.00
The thesis is avaiable here: https://hdl.handle.net/11250/3058961

The event can be streamed using this link: aho.cloud.panopto.eu

Thesis description:
With the onset of climate and ecological breakdown, organized human life faces a precarious present and an even bleaker future. The sixth IPCC report (2021-2022) states that the window for drastic climate action is closing fast. At the same time, the atmosphere of climate disinformation, denialism, and delay has calcified the collective social imagination, unable to see desirable futures beyond Business as Usual. For this thesis in Industrial Design, the question is relatively simple—can Industrial Design imagine radically hopeful climate-resilient futures? This Research through/by Design thesis answers this question by imagining a desirable future that doesn’t yet exist and what it may take to get there.
This thesis travels through two worlds or paradigms—‘What-is ‘and ‘What Could-be.’ The world of ‘what-is’ explores the typologies of defuturing and dehumanization as they manifest with climate breakdown. The thesis imagines a speculative future world that ‘could-be,’ explored in the accompanying The Open Journal of ReFuturing, a fictional design research journal from 2131 AD. The journal is written as an indigenous critique from the future, looking back at the first century of climate reparations through the speculative solutions enacted today. These speculative solutions are generated through/by designerly ‘What-ifs’ and its designed artifacts for climate-resilient solutions and ‘Technologies of Care’ that make this world thinkable and doable today. This seriously playful yet studied imagination of ReFuturing Studies is an invitation to reimagine a transformed ‘ecology of disciplines’ for climate action—to reclaim and rehumanize the dehumanized present such that the future is profoundly different when we arrive in it.
jomy_joseph_0.jpgCandidate Profile:
Jomy Joseph (1988) holds a B.Tech in Civil Engineering from Calicut University, India (2010); an M.Des in Industrial Design from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D), India (2013); and an MA in Industrial Design from The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway (2018). Over the years, he has worn multiple hats as a designer, researcher, and lecturer across various fields, such as industrial design, speculative design, communication and visual design, and user experience design. He continues exploring the intersection of speculative industrial design for long-term sustainable futures and the worlds it may lead to. His research was carried out with the generous support of the research project, designBRICS.
ReFuturing Studies Ph.D. Exhibition Description:
With the social, political, and ecological conditions around us and the state of the Earth's climate systems and life-sustaining biosphere undergoing a rapid decline, this question becomes a clear and urgent call for designers to imagine better present-futures. ReFuturing Studies: Rehumanizing Futures through/by Design is an exhibition showcasing the outcomes of the Ph.D. dissertation by candidate Jomy Joseph at the Institute of Design at AHO. The exhibition will showcase the generative outcomes of this Research through/by Design project, replete with a broad range of explorations with artefacts, design fictions and research papers. The project poses a simple question:
"How can Industrial Design enable the imagining of more radically hopeful futures in the context of long-term sustainability?"
The research exhibition showcases the wide range of investigative materials and outcomes generated in the past four years of this Ph.D. The exhibition makes a case for what Industrial Design "could be" doing, reclaiming itself to be something other than what it became, shaped by a transformative practice that "could-be" given "what-is." This is carried out by asking better "what-ifs" for designing an alternative now that enables radically different forms of living, both thinkable and desirable. This speculative framework informs how one can "refuture" the defutured and dehumanized present, such that the future when we arrive in it, is profoundly different from what we can forecast today.
This is the proposition of ReFuturing Studies, which calls for a form of ‘serious play’ and a 'concrete utopianism' grounded in the realities of climate change and the ecology of disciplines and actions needed. Thus, the exhibition aims to convey the possibilities for refuturing, which go beyond the making or not-making of, say, sustainable choices. Instead, this exhibition seeks to investigate the modalities of refuturing that could help us imagine and make differently, set within an ecology of climate actions towards long-term sustainable futures through climate reparations that do not yet exist or are minoritized within the logic of our present paradigm, where these choices seem either impossible or 'naive and unrealistic.' AHO welcomes you for this disciplinary investigation and articulation of a 'new logic' for our collective refuturing.

Supervisor: Håkan Edeholt
Co-supervisor: Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay
Adjudication committee:
Professor Johan Redström
Dr. Brototi Roy
Associate Professor Josina Vink

Date: 27. March, 2023
Time: 10:00 am

Venue: A2 Sverre Fehn auditorium