Citizenship Lab Presents: The Climate Emergency and Tuvalu’s Escape to the Metaverse: Challenging the Complicity of Design in Technological Solutionism 

Date: March 9, 2023
Time: 4-5:30pm China time
Location: IB 1010
Zoom ID: 962 8265 9729
Speakers: Nick Kelly, Marcus Foth (Queensland University of Technology)

The full recording of this event can be found here.

Rising sea levels due to climate change are already having severe impacts on the nation of Tuvalu. It proposes to build a digital replica of itself in the metaverse. In this talk, we will not only ask whether it can be done but explore the actual message hidden in this announcement. This leads us to explore some broader questions pertaining to the relationship between citizenship and the politics of climate change: Will technology innovation save us? What responsibility should citizens take in making ethical consumption choices? What is the role of design and designers in intermediating between government, industry and citizens?


Nick Kell

 Nick Kelly is a Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design in the School of Design at QUT in Australia. His research addresses design cognition (how designers think), interaction design (how we design interactions within a sociocultural context), and design education. [Photo and full profile >]

Marcus Froth

Marcus Foth is a Professor of Urban Informatics in the QUT Design Lab and a Chief Investigator in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. As a founding member of the More-than-Human Futures research group, he currently explores post-anthropocentric approaches to design research and practice. [Photo and full profile >]


Recommended Readings

Kelly, N., & Foth, M. (2022, Nov 17). An entire Pacific country will upload itself to the metaverse. It’s a desperate plan – with a hidden message. The Conversation

Fieuw, W., Foth, M., & Caldwell, G. A. (2022). Towards a more-than-human approach to smart and sustainable urban development: Designing for multispecies justice. Sustainability, 14(2), 948.

Kelly, N., Kindler, G., Watson, J., & Carden, T. (2022). Designing for Connection with Local Threatened Species. Interactions, 29(5), 22–23.