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driving the human shortlists seven projects for new ways to co-inhabit on the planet



last october driving the human unveiled 21 visions for eco-social renowal on the occasion of its design festival held in berlin, germany.  through interactive installations, readings, and performances, those concepts explored the connections between technology and nature, artifcial intelligence and circular economy, as well as new modes of production, indigenous knowledges, and bacterial and interplanetary perspectives. now the research project has picked seven final projects which will be developed throughout 2022.


this selection opens up the next stage of the multi-year transdisciplinary project driving the human. the next milestone is a mentorship event in munich, from december 10–12, 2021. below the seven final projects:

driving the human shortlists seven projects for new ways to co-inhabit on the planet
do AIs dream of climate chaos – iris qu


do AIs dream of climate chaos


over the past few decades, the tech industry has overindexed on the existential threat of artificial intelligence while overlooking the doomsday scenarios backed by climate science. although most AIs manifest as software machine learning algorithms, they depend on an ubiquitous hardware infrastructure requiring constant human maintenance and temperature control. given sufficient data, a self-aware ai agent might very likely recognize the necessity of radical change to prevent its hardware failure. do AIs dream of climate chaos speculates a future in which an artificial intelligence agent spends all its computing resources processing climate chaos, in an  attempts to compute a future where humans, ecosystems, and machines live in harmony.



driving the human shortlists seven projects for new ways to co-inhabit on the planet
human-bacteria interfaces – anne-sofie belling, bea delgado corrales, romy kaiser and paula nerlich




the human-bacteria interfaces (hbi) concept examines how multimodal interactions between humans and microbes can elicit novel ways for humans to “meaningfully” collaborate and coexist with the nonhuman within the built environment. specifically, hbis are tangible, living interfaces consisting of microbial consortia that interact or respond to stimuli from their surroundings by emitting signals accessible to humans through touch, smell and sight. these living interfaces are envisioned as part of an “ambient living intelligence” as they respond and interact with the rhythm of its human inhabitants and surroundings.



driving the human shortlists seven projects for new ways to co-inhabit on the planet
monsters and ghosts of the far north: towards an inclusive cartography – andra pop-jurj and lena geerts




the arctic is a site of intense geopolitical and infrastructural intrigue, with incompatible and interlocking border claims rooted in colonial and cartographic history. monsters and ghosts of the far north questions current notions of sovereignty and challenges the permanence of national borders and the primacy of the nation-state, thereby reconceptualizing the contested geopolitics of land ownership in the region.


driving the human shortlists seven projects for new ways to co-inhabit on the planet
sedekah benih – vincent rumahloine and mang dian




sadaqah comes from the arabic word sadaqah, which means giving voluntarily. seeds are seeds, seedlings are small plants. sedekah seed tries to build safe spaces and relationships between people from various backgrounds online and offline through collective memories of plants. through the activity of distributing seeds to the participants of the sedekah sedekah, the participants tried to find and explore the public’s memory of tiis leungeun (a person talented in farming). sedekah benih tries to find and document the traditional knowledge about ecology in society passed down from generation to generation through art and media. we see that this traditional knowledge can be learned, developed, and shared to solve the current climate change problem. sedekah benih consists of three stages: seed selection, seed growing and care, and the harvest festival. we are currently in the second stage.



the backpack of wings: modern mythology – hyeseon jeong




the backpack of wings: modern mythology represents the speculative future scenarios, which are collisions and integrations between a bio-geo tracking technology for wild animals in scientific fields and an animism in seismic disaster myth in east asia. since ancient times, whenever a natural disaster strikes, people anecdotally report that “animals knew it beforehand,” a belief related to animals as spiritual beings. as telemetry systems evolve, this animistic belief is transformed into data by calculating, analyzing with biologging on the animal body; how far is the intervention of human beings into nature acceptable? will the animals be perceived as essential members of human society?


driving the human shortlists seven projects for new ways to co-inhabit on the planet
trons ‘r’ us – akwasi bediako afrane




trons ‘r’ us presents trons instead of people as a blank slate to provoke conversations about the nature of the “human” and how the human quest for sustenance burdens the environment. by altering rejected gizmos into trons and presenting them as anti-machines, they are offered as a prism through which to critique our state of being. the visceral traits of these trons form a narrative that will provoke questioning and discussions about our being. read our previous coverage of the project here.


virtual sanctuary for fertilizing mourning – eliana otta



virtual sanctuary for fertilizing mourning aims to become a virtual space to commemorate the deaths of indigenous leaders assassinated in recent years in peru, when defending their territories from deforestation, mining and other extractivist activities. working closely with their families and communities, it would create virtual tours of the areas they aimed to protect. oral histories, remembrance, songs, and all kinds of information that the communities find adequate to share with others, will be used to develop a portal into ways of life that are threatened by extinction, but also, to hint toward the invisible, magical, and affectionate threads sustaining them.



project info


event: driving the human.
phase: seven final prototypes.

unveil date: november 2022


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