History proves that humans have never been at peace. Yet, today, epidemics, starvation, and violence have somehow been sorted and controlled (Harari, 2016). The price that humanity will pay for dominating and domesticating nature will be high. The ripples from the last century's unsustained behavior are becoming tangible and more entangled than ever. 
Anthropology and archeology create the foundations to understand the implications of Collapsology and its relevance to future social disruption (Middleton, 2017). The collapse of ancient societies, species, and ecosystems are not new in the world’s history. Societies mainly collapse due to the "loss of an established level of sociopolitical complexity” (Tainter, 2017, p. 4), mostly because of a failure in their economic system. However, the collapse of various ecosystems are much more complex and take more time to unfold.
Planet Earth has witnessed five mass extinctions, greenhouse effects caused all but one. In the last two centuries, humanity has grown irresponsibly and exponentially. Fossil fuels have been extracted ruthlessly from the soil, transformed and abused, creating massive amounts of CO2 emissions, overflowing landfills, and chemical rivers contaminating the biosphere. Thousands of species are already extinct, and more are in danger of disappearing. We are facing the beginning of the Sixth Mass Extinction at a frightening pace (Kolbert, 2014). Wallace-Wells (2019) in The Uninhabitable Earth, suggests that individual changes are not so ‘important,' a massive reorganization is required. Everyone needs to be aware, promote, and support this idea of environmental shifting through activism.
We’ve been warned many times before, but never appreciated its urgency. Ex-French president Jacques Chirac delivered a speech in 2002 on sustainable development. He began with a severe declaration, "Our house is burning down, and we're blind to it." (République, P. de la., 2002) The latter demonstrates the false believe that Climate Change is a trending topic, exaggerated by new generations. The problem is and has always been in people's mindset; if the mindset is not modified, nothing can truly be accomplished.
The previous statements are not predictions but facts. Designers should take all these challenges seriously and address them immediately. Design schools, along with government leaders, industry heads, and businesses at all levels, need to align to collaborate on the current scenario and the future Armageddon that awaits. People are still distracted by their present condition and never think beyond their ‘ethico-ontological issues’ (deep ecology). The main objective is to leave the planet an improved place for the next generations (Plumwood, 2002).
Perhaps ancient ways of living and learning can teach new forms of behavior for sustainable development. Western science and knowledge systems have been questioned for many years, by numerous political figures such as Gandhi. Indigenous knowledge inspired by African and Asian cultures is another approach towards understanding the interconnections of social and natural sciences supporting the environment (Breidlid, 2009). It is supported by old customs and ways of learning in context and practice (place-based learning). Indigenous knowledge systems have a counter-hegemonic proposal displayed in the setting of the African Renaissance (Breidlid, 2009; Ntuli, 2002). This counter-hegemonic scheme has to be on the agenda of Design Activism and Autonomous Design. 
Designers need to activate their criticality positively and proactively, "to change the world, we first have to change the world’s people" (Esslinger, 2012, p. 203). Mental stamina is required to surpass failures, challenges, and the impending technological and ecological crises. Designers are continuously taught to fail fast and keep going until the proposal suits the needs of most users. This time, our responsibility is more significant and crucial than ever. The house is on fire, and something has to be done about it.
House on Fire

· Breidlid, A. (2009). Culture, indigenous knowledge systems and sustainable development: A critical view of education in an African context. International Journal of Educational Development, 29(2), 140-148. doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2008.09.009
· Esslinger, H. (2012). Design forward : creative strategies for sustainable change. Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers.
· Harari, Y. N. (2016). Homo deus : a brief history of tomorrow. London: Harvill Secker.
· Kolbert, E. (2014). The sixth extinction : an unnatural history (First edition. ed.). New York: Henry Holt and Company.
· Middleton, G. D. (2017). The show must go on: Collapse, resilience, and transformation in 21st-century archaeology. Reviews in Anthropology, 46(2-3), 78-105. doi:10.1080/00938157.2017.1343025
· Plumwood, V. (2002). Environmental culture : the ecological crisis of reason. London: Routledge.
· République, P. de la. (2002, September 1). Speech by Mr. Jacques CHIRAC, President of the French Republic, to the Plenary session of the World Summit on sustainable development. - Johannesburg. Retrieved from http://www.jacqueschirac-asso.fr/archives-elysee.fr/elysee/elysee.fr/anglais/speeches_and_documents/2002-2001/fi005004.html.
· Tainter, J. A. (2017). The collapse of complex societies. Cambridge University Press.
· Wallace-Wells, D. (2019). The Uninhabitable Earth: Tim Duggan Books.

Back to Top