As Fairs wrote on Dezeen, we are entering a new geological era in which human activity is a dominant influence on earth's geology and environment. The name scientists propose for this is the anthropocene.
It's easy to believe we are heading towards catastrophe – yet it also means we have the power to redesign our planet. How can designers shape the anthropocene era? How can they help us avoid disaster? What could the anthropocene earth look like?
The talk was a special edition of Dezeen's Good Design for a Bad World series exploring how design can solve some of the biggest problems facing the world.
Good Design for a Bad World launched at Dutch Design Week last year with a series of discussions exploring climate change, refugees, terrorism, pollution and politics, which we live streamed and published at: www.dezeen.com/gooddesignforabadworld
Jalila Essaidi is an artist an entrepreneur based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, who specialises in the fields of biological materials and art.
She is best known for her Bulletproof Skin project, in which she combined human skin with spider silk from genetically modified organisms to create a hybrid bulletproof material.
Pirjo Haikola is a designer and researcher, currently developing research on socially and environmentally responsible design as a postdoctoral researcher at the Aalto University in Finland.
She has a master's degree from Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands and earned her PhD in 2013 as a Marie Curie Fellow within a network of European Universities at the University of Aveiro in Portugal.
Sjoerd Kluiving is a geologist and physical geographer with an expertise in interdisciplinary research and teaching around the anthropocene.
He co-leads the Environmental Humanities Center at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and also leads the International Association of Landscape Archaeology (IALA).
Born in the Dominican Republic, Rab Messina is a design journalist based in the Netherlands.
She is currently working on a research project that examines the role of socioeconomic guilt in speculative bio-design proposals that use the human body as a site or a source of material.
Marcus Fairs is founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen. In 2017, he was named the first-ever international ambassador for Dutch Design Week, where he launched the Good Design for a Bad World initiative.
In 2018, he was named one of the 1,000 most influential people in London by the Evening Standard. Other accolades he has won include journalist of the year and business editor of the year.