Weathering weather: an embodied co-speculative approach to exploring weather

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Master's Programme in Collaborative and Industrial Design
Weathering Weather is an explorative study that looks at unveiling what is obscured when using numeric weather data in our everyday lives. It does this by breaking down our understanding of weather, while simultaneously bringing attention to how we’re all weathering - enduring, living, and changing with weather. This thesis unpacks the many relationships we have with weather, climate, and climate change. It proposes alternative ways in which we may understand, relate to, and communicate weather in our everyday lives. While the politics of weather are examined through a critical lens, an exploratory approach is used to understand how the qualitative aspects of weather might be mapped. Embodied co-speculation, a methodology that uses practices from embodied design, participatory design, and speculative design, is employed to capture the subjective embodied knowledge about weather that we inherently possess. Co-speculation is used to find alternative ways of measuring and communicating weather (alternative to numeric ways). This creative outlook towards weather allowed for estrangement and imagination to emerge, which created room for reflection about our relationship with weather and climate change. Three co-speculation workshops reveal how feelings, rhythms, moods, observations, and senses are deeply impacted by weather and obscured when we condense weather into numeric meteorological data. The workshops documented the subjective weather experiences, which were thematically analysed. The alternatives were filtered to create themes that collate how weather can be understood through natural and urban environments, language, celebrations, memories, safety, productivity, privilege, mixed feelings, moods, mental health, seasonality, and temporality. Rich, personal, physical materials collected from the co-speculation workshops were documented in the form of a zine (an independent publication that is made for a large but niche audience interested in the topic), titled ‘Deep talk about Weather’ which was co-authored and co-created with two participants, acts as the tangible outcome of this thesis. In proposing reflective, qualitative, and embodied alternative ways of understanding weather, this thesis offers different perspectives through which we can understand and reflect on complex eco-social subjectivities related to weather and climate change.
Mattelmäki, Tuuli
Thesis advisor
Dolejšová, Markéta
weather, weathering, climate change, embodied co-speculation, participatory design, zine
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Media files notes: Deep talk about Weather Description: A zine that documents subjective, embodied experiences of weather and climate change and challenges and proposes alternative ways of communicating and measuring weather (alternative to numeric weather data) Media creators: - Media rights: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0