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Rachel Adams, Care Beyond the Human
Taken from the coda to a book about the aesthetics and politics of care, this short presentation will explore the possibilities and perils of extending human care relations to other species, the environment, and non-living matter. It isn’t hard to imagine caring for a beloved dog, a retired horse, a fluffy baby seal, or even a giant redwood. But I wonder how far outward different theoretical models of care extend, and how they are changed when the agent is a flatworm, a mushroom, slime mold, or a robot? Is care itself an anthropocentric concept that always requires imagining the other possessed of human motivations, agency, and emotional depth? And if not, what are the driving motivations involved in such caring activity? I consider a series of artistic and social experiments with extra-human care as I seek to better understand the contours of such an expansion, as well as the place of the human in care networks that include other species and non-human actors.
Bryony Roberts, Structures of Care: Experimental Models of Childcare
This presentation considers how intersectional feminism can inform experimental models of childcare. As the current pandemic makes especially visible, the issue of childcare is entangled with inequities of gender, race, and class. Childcare is a social justice issue that is gaining visibility in politics but remains overlooked in the fields of architecture and urbanism, despite the role of design in shaping conditions of education and care. There is, however, a historical lineage and growing number of contemporary design projects that demonstrate how architectural experimentation in tandem with radical socioeconomic models of care can improve access, affordability, and education with or without governmental support. This presentation draws from research on programmatic hybridization: how combining childcare plus housing, childcare plus parental workplace, and childcare plus landscape, can improve conditions for care workers, children, and families.