The Post-Pandemic Anthropocene

City at night

Online YouTube Premiere

How has the pandemic changed our views on theory and practice for design and architecture?
Has the pandemic enabled humans to see their own hubris in order to speak and act for the future of the earth?

The Anthropocene has come to be quickly adopted as a term to describe a new geological epoch of the earth that is entirely dominated by humans. The Anthropocene presupposes the idea that nature and human society are inextricably entwined.

This panel brings together a diverse group of climate scientists, epidemiologists, urban theorists, designers and artists around the proposition that the Covid-19 virus is the ultimate entanglement of humans and nature. They will pursue the following questions: After the global pandemic how knowledge of the Anthropocene changed? What do experiences of the pandemic now tell humans about remaking the Anthropocene through design and spatial practices? Is it just a matter of designing with new technological fixes for our cities, buildings and spaces?


Dr Melanie Lowe, Research Fellow, Melbourne Centre for Cities, University of Melbourne.
Melanie’s research investigates how to plan healthy and resilient cities, and the use of indicators to monitor and inform policy. She works at the interface of the public health and urban planning fields, highlighting the co-benefits that can be achieved for human health, sustainable development, liveability and urban resilience. Melanie works collaboratively with researchers and policymakers across a range of disciplines. In her current role, she is part of a partnership with the City of Melbourne to co-design research to enhance the resilience of the city. Her research has been included in local, state and federal planning and public health policy in Australia.

Dr Janine Felson, Research Fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne.
Dr Felson’s primary research focus is on integrating global policy for sustainable development, climate change and ocean through new or improved financial frameworks and governance structures.
Prior to joining MSSI, Janine served as a senior diplomat in the foreign service of the Government of Belize. She started her diplomatic career in 1998 as the first legal counsel in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She worked extensively on international legal matters including the World Trade Organization Banana Dispute, the Belize-Guatemala territorial differendum, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Bon Mott _/\_ Sculptor, Performance Artist, Curator
_/\_is a sculptor creating transdisciplinary process-driven installations activated by performance (IAP) that are informed by learning from Indigenous Knowledge, the trickster, nurturing through collaboration, quantum physics, the queer ecologies of lightning, philosophy and looking back to find a path forward for expanded, inclusive social change.

Simon Rose, Director The Great Aboriginal People
Simon is a Birriah | Gurreng Gurreng Murri working across documentary, corporate video and other commissioned content for several years including freelance writing, producing and directing. Simon was the Indigenous directors attachment to ABC TVs ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’ 2011-12, completed a factual research internship with Blackfella Films Melbourne 2015-16, was a participant in Screen Australias’ National Indigenous Producing initiative 2016 and directed the NITV commissioned film: ‘Our Stories, Maree Clarke Cultural Warrior’ 2018. In 2019 Simon started his own freelance Indigenous media production service: ‘the Great Aboriginal People’ based in Melbourne.


Dr Rochus Hinkel and Dr Peter Raisbeck explore the pressing issues of our times, from social injustice to overconsumption, from climate change to the effects of capitalism through the conversation series Politics and Utopia in Architecture. Together with ethnographers, environmentalists, indigenous elders, activists, architects, historians and philosophers, they reflect on learnings and lessons for architects and designers, and as citizens of a globalised world. Conversations so far include Indigenous Knowledge System, Learning from the AnthropoceneShaping Future Societies or Indigenizing the Architectural Curriculum. Conversations took place at the Melbourne Design Week, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Sustainability Science Conference in Helsinki, as well as online.

This event is free to attend but registrations are required to receive the link to the YouTube Premier.

Register here

This event is part of Melbourne Design Week 2022, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV. The Melbourne School of Design program is made possible by the generous support of Robert Treseder and the Creative Futures Fund.