Climate Pathways

Friday, November 22, 2019 - 5:30pm to Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 5:00pm

The School of Design would like to invite you to Climate Pathways, an exhibition of projects from the Imaginaries Lab's fall 2019 studio elective, Research Through Design.

  • Friday November 22, 5.30pm–7.30pm: Exhibition opening and project demos
  • Saturday November 23, 10.00am–5.00pm: Exhibition open to visit
  • Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, Room 121, 5001 Margaret Morrison Street, Pittsburgh PA 15213 (first floor of the building, north end)

How do we imagine the climate crisis? What futures do we understand, or can we envision, for our own communities or others, in Pittsburgh or elsewhere? It’s easy to be completely overwhelmed with powerlessness, and the complexities and uncertainties of the situations we might have ahead of us. International bodies such as the IPCC and climate science researchers have the idea of plural ‘pathways’ which give insights into possible futures we might experience, but what could they look like in everyday life? How might we actually experience these pathways?

We have, taking the pathways as inspiration, applied design research methods to the topic, and what we might do about it, through five student projects*:

  • A Quest for The Good Meal: What we learned by designing an experiential quest that exposed the disengaged (yet environmentally interested) to a stewardship worldview
  • Collaging Shared Worlds: How can people have improved conversations with loved ones about the climate crisis?
  • Scentrees: How can we train our senses to detect changes in air quality?
  • #closedloopcloset: What would be our relationship with our clothes once we opt out of fast fashion?
  • CarbonCash: Can we close the intention-action gap through financial incentives or environmental impact information?

Students taking part range from PhDs to undergraduates, from areas including Design, Architecture, Art, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Systems, and Integrated Innovation. As part of the project, we have collaborated with the Plurality University Network, a Paris-based international collective of designers, futurists, and science-fiction writers, had a joint workshop session with colleagues at Parsons School of Design in New York, and received assistance from Carnegie Mellon's Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation. 

*Featuring work from Megan Urban, Lea Albaugh, Julia Petrich, Tammar Zea-Wolfson, Elena Deng, Judy Chun, Antonio Song, Sharon Lee, Coco Allred, Joyce Wang, Yixiao Fu, Yingli Sieh, Chris Costes, Ema Karavdic, Cathryn Ploehn, Shawn Koid, David Lin, Rachel Kim, Matt Prindible, and Matt Geiger.