December 2022 marks the end of two years of Designing Cities for All. Come celebrate with us at Pakhuis de Zwijger on Mon 12th of December!

A night of talks, art, music, looking back and looking forward, and the launch of not one but two DCFA publications: the DCFA Principles and the 2022 DCFA Essay Book, More Perspectives on Designing Cities for All, with fresh essays by many incredible DCFA speakers and advocates.

To soothe your curiosity, here’s a sneak peek of Darko Lagunas’ essay – The City Beyond the Human.

Whether we accomplish creating cities where many worlds fit in – like those of eels and others – will tell us something about what kind of humans we are. Will we pursue the invasive legacy of making territories inaccessible and undesirable for others? Expelling them, either by pulling up hard borders in the form of dams, dykes, walls and fences or by categorisations in the mind? Or is it possible to have eels and others around-to follow their lead and let them teach us who we might become?”

Eels and the minutiae of their life – Where do they come from? How do they reproduce? – have left scientists confused and with a need to challenge their understanding of scientific norms and viewpoints. Instead of protecting the muddy Dutch waters in which eels used to hide safely, we’ve built structures that keep them out.

Darko’s example serves as a perfect metaphor of exclusion by design: it can be difficult to design inclusively for those we do not understand. Design should extend beyond the needs of humans. Rather than erect barriers to keep out what we do not understand, we should include anything and anyone present.

And who is ‘we’, anyway?

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