Josefin Wangel

Josefin Wangel
Josefin Wangel

An ‘undisciplined’ researcher exploring how re-presentations — popular culture, arts, media, and scenarios — of futures, presents and pasts shape problem formulations, expectations and action (or the lack).

I’m an undisciplined researcher with a strong interest in exploring how re-presentations of futures, presents and pasts shape problem formulations, expectations — and action (or the lack thereof). The re-presentations I’m looking at include popular culture, arts, media, and scenarios. I’m particularly interested in how re-representations can help de-familiarize and re-politicize taken for granted narratives about progress and modernity, human-nature relations, and human ‘nature’.

Presenting myself as undisciplined is partly a way for me to formulate how I understand my knowledge-making practices and background — I have a Masters in earth sciences, a PhD in planning and policy analysis, and have for the last six years worked increasingly with theories and methods typically associated with the humanities (e.g. new materialism and design fiction). Being undisciplined is however also, and perhaps foremost, an expression of personal ambition — to probe and transgress disciplinary boundaries, as well as boundaries between academic and other-than-academic(ally approved of) knowledge, ways of knowing and knowledge-making practices.

Recent projects include Beyond Efficiency, which is an ongoing design-driven project (2017-2020) exploring what sustainable urban development could be beyond the efficiency paradigm a la modernity. The project Empowering Energy Futures explored how ‘people’ imagined what a more sustainable future could look like, and what drivers and obstacles there were in relation to realising this. The project resulted in the energy fiction Vitiden, in which a possible future is re-presented through a combination of a future-oriented text (a manifesto) and a visual presentation of an archaeology of the future. Other relevant projects include Sensing Energy and Prototyping the Futures. 

All of these projects have been carried out as part of or in close collaboration with Green Leap — a research network for design and sustainability based at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.