Mournful Design for Critical Climate Futures

A theory of design and HCI calling for more speculative, emotive, and ecologically engaged projects that create critical climate futures.

In this work, we describe a theory of mournful design, a multifaceted practice of generative ecological engagement inspired by ecofeminism, collective experiences of grief, speculation, and play. In response to extractive systems of capitalism and colonialism that disproportionately exploit ecological relations within marginalized and vulnerable communities, we present and practice alternatives to traditional HCI and design practices, ultimately calling for the design of a multiplicity of speculative and playful climate futures, particularly ones that directly engage with grief. In doing so, we created digital projects that practice mournful design: grief garden, and seed sovereignty store, in the process demonstrating how mournful design enrolls participants in alternative modes of discourse and praxis for dealing with climate crisis.

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tomorrow soup