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#30 – Arturo Escobar & matali crasset: Towards a design of pluriversity

The Foundation renews its support of the Festival Agir pour le Vivant (August 2023, Arles) and is organizing three encounters “Creators facing Climate Emergency” as part of the “Conversations à ciel ouvert” cycle, available as audio podcasts on the website and on listening platforms.

We need to invent new ways of building and making the world, with a view to creating a common space and living sustainably on Earth, making design one of the most important philosophical debates of the years to come.

Anthropologist Arturo Escobar and designer matali crasset discuss the role of design in the light of socio-environmental crises, and question its ability to contribute to living together.


Conversation August 2023, Jardin Lapidaire, Arles
Guests: Arturo Escobar
, anthropologist, researcher and activist, and matali crasset, industrial designer.
Moderated by Caroline Naphegyi, studies director, École Camondo.

The political, social and ecological impasses in which our societies find themselves are a sign of a fundamental flaw in the way we make the world, and the challenge today is to redesign it, in other words to establish a new technological, social and ecological context capable of accommodating and supporting an ontological reconfiguration. This is the search for ontological or pluriversal design, this innovative critical praxis.


Arturo Escobar is a Colombian anthropologist and researcher-activist. Professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina until 2019, he is a founding member of the Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality program. Since the 1990s, he has been theorizing about political ecology, proposing a decentered and critical approach to the notion of “Third World”, which he believes is specific to a cultural and historical discourse of Western culture. He works closely with several Afro-Colombian environmental and feminist organizations on territorial struggles against extractivism, post-developmentalist and post-capitalist transitions. He is notably the author of Sentir-penser avec la terre: l’écologie au-delà de l’Occident (Seuil, 2018), which breaks with Western universalism in favor of pluriversal thinking.

matali crasset
is a French designer of international renown. Since her training at Ateliers-ENSCI in the 1990s, she has championed design at the crossroads of artistic, anthropological and social practice. She works for a design of creation, of the living and the everyday: how can design contribute to living together and accompany us in the contemporary world? It is from this simple yet committed premise that she thinks and works “in motion”. For the past 30 years, she has been inventing her own unique path, nourished by the hundreds of projects she has carried out in architecture, scenography, object design, furniture, public spaces and interior design. Her work is exhibited in cultural institutions in France and abroad, and is included in major museum design collections, from New York’s Moma to the Centre Pompidou.


In partnership with the Festival Agir pour le Vivant.