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In a world full of uncertainties such as climate change and mass extinction, there is a need for a new innovative kind of control. We are searching for balance between an uncontrollable society and an over-controlled personal life. But how much control do we really need? Does having control give us power or just the idea of it?

Nonhuman Nonsense is a research-driven design studio that focuses on the relations between the non-sentient and living beings. Their goal is to start a conversation about another way of existing, going beyond of thinking of what has consciousness and what does not. Their project Planetary Personhood is a campaign that wants to keep the independence of the planet Mars, in today’s age where NASA, Space X and other Earth-based are trying to colonise it. Working with a group of philosophers, scientists and geologists, they came up with their own Universal Declaration of Martian Rights which contains 8 different rights, which you can find on their campaign’s website. It explains how we should treat the planet Mars in its own natural form, without human influence.

“Imagining a different relationship to a planet where there is no life or traditional life, opens other ways of relating to Earth and the customs that we have been practicing for centuries.”

The idea behind the project focuses on reshaping the way of thinking that human beings are the centre of everything and have the need to control and own non-human beings. The project tries to stimulate the idea of non-sentient beings, like stones, being part of a state of interbeing. This means that both living and non-living creatures are connected, and it proposes a new way of existing. A way of existing which doesn’t distinguish between the sentient and non-sentient. 

Project Planetary Personhood hopes on having a discussion on how we can relate to planetary in a whole different way and have a different language relating to non-human beings that are not focused on life or intelligence. It tries to find the balance between having control of your own life and having a non-human-centred sense of respect, which is why it fits to the trend “Control Regained”. This trend focuses on reshaping the definition of control and creating a world where people rely on themselves. Project Planetary Personhood introduces a new sense of self-sufficiency; letting the planet do its natural process where humans find sufficiency independent from the planet they inhabited. We are not using our planet’s resources but rather learning how to depend on ourselves.

Want to know more about Planetary Personhood, click here

Want to know more about the trend “Control Regained”?. Then read our trend book for Dutch Design Week 2020 here.

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