Online Talk:

Symbio(s)cene talked with Dr. Lora Koycheva. In this talk, Dr. Koycheva offers an anthropological perspective on the currently dominant human-centered design paradigm, and traces ways in which to dislodge it from its all-too-occidental grounding. She probes ways into which speculative methods and an anthropological approach play out in a nascent global initiative (Green Like a Robot) aimed at imagining, prototyping, and enacting the ways in which (ro)bots can help herald and enact such a paradigm shift. The centrality of the human has long reigned supreme in the explanatory models and creative endeavors that mark our collective experiences of being human, especially in the occidental tradition. What is more, such a tradition often relies on a well-tested heuristic mechanism – dichotomous relations – in order to both construct the world and organize these models of the world: nature-culture, human-animal, human-machine, animate-inanimate. Yet with the advent of the Anthropocene, as well as robotic technology, new heuristics, new methods, new vocabularies, and new responses to worldmaking will become not only necessary, but will also lend themselves to opening up new possibilities for existence.

Dr. Lora Koycheva, Visiting Scholar at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich.

Recording from 25 January 2022

Image Source: © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen, Eyes As Big As Plates