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Study Programme: Terraforming 2021 by Strelka Institute

Text by CLOT Magazine

The Terraforming is a three-year design research initiative and think-tank of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design directed by Benjamin H. Bratton. Each program cycle runs for five months with a group of 30 Russian and international researchers. The Terraforming explores the geotechnical, geourban, and geopolitical conditions by which a viable planetarity can be conceived, modelled, and articulated.

The program’s first year emphasised the remaking of the planet itself (and remaking ourselves thereby), while the second year will emphasise remaking ourselves (and remaking the planet thereby). In 2021 they will add a new chapter of motivating themes: Populations, Zoning Earth, Anthropoforming, and Modes of Planetarity.

Populations will consider 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 many alternatives are both needed and possible. Zoning Earth will examine 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 also how the urban planning logic of functional zoning might be applied at the planetary scale. Anthropoforming is the process by which humans remake themselves and by which they are continuously remade by their environments. We are interested in the ways that planetarity is composed at biological, epidemiological, and prosthetic scales. Modes of Planetarity expands our 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.

In 2021 the think-tank will host contributions from many new visiting faculty, including Nandita Sharma, Thomas Moynihan, Anya Bernstein, Nicholas DeMonchaux, Chen Qiufan, Reza Negarestani, Blaise Agüera y Arcas, and many others.

The Terraforming 2021 invites applications from young professionals with various backgrounds and work experience in the fields of architecture, urbanism, design, filmmaking, journalism, digital media, philosophy, political science, social studies, and other fields. If you want to check Bratton’s year presentation you can check here.

The program is tuition-free, and researchers receive a monthly stipend. The deadline for applications is November 10, 2020 (23:59 Moscow time).

(Media courtesy of the Strelka Institute)
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