Design for Extreme Environments


Living in extreme environments: what are the odds, a designer’s take on it.

Scientists predict that extreme, humid heat waves will be killing even healthy people, who venture outdoors, within a matter of hours on China’s northern plane, one of the world’s most densely populated areas by the second half of the century. Travel agents advise potential customers to visit certain desirable destinations – Athens, Tunis, Madrid, Shanghai, New Orleans, Cancun, Havana – before 2050, whilst atmospheric conditions are still bearable.

Serious research indicates that humans are rapidly and radically destroying the bio-diversity – plants, animals, and micro-organisms that maintain the eco-system of the planet. While flooding creates havoc across the world, droughts seriously threaten water supplies in cities such as Los Angeles and Sao Paulo.

The Anthropocene epoch – the geological age in which human activity is seen as the dominant influence on climate environment of the earth – threatens the basis of human civilisation. What are the responsible and practical choices for the designer in this situation? Surely, to counter these malign effects and to try to regain some form of ecological balance. But what if it’s already too late to ensure completely a liveable climate? Then should we plan to live beneath the sea, reduce our activity to the night hours, or desert the earth for life on a different planet? In this Lab, we explore future prospects, alternatives, risks, and opportunities when designing for life in extreme environments. But hurry, these may arise sooner than you think…




To be announced soon


To be announced soon


30 spots still available


Thursday 13 June


10:00 — 16:00 hours


KABK Auditorium
Prinsessegracht 4
2514AN The Hague

ticket & registration