Design with care Seminar - Year 1

Marion Waller is an urban planner and philosopher. After earning a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Sciences Po Paris and in Philosophy from the ENS and EHESS, she joined the firm of Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris, and headed the “Reinventing Paris” initiative, a call for innovative projects. At the same time, she specialised in environmental philosophy and published an essay on ecological restoration, “Artefacts naturels (Natural Artefacts)“ (Paris, Editions de l’Eclat, 2016). She is currently working on a thesis under the supervision of Patrick Savidan and Richard Sennett and teaches Environmental Ethics at the University of Paris Est and Urban Controversies at Sciences Po Paris.

She gave a TEDx talk on the new urban environmental policy in Paris: naturels : quand le design de la nature s’impose (Natural Artefacts: when nature’s design prevails)

What must be done when a natural area has been destroyed or damaged? Should it be replicated in its original form, or should it be “designed” according to new human expectations? What temporal reference level should we refer to: pre-human nature? pre-urban nature? Ecological restoration, the practice of “repairing” endangered ecosystems, is faced with these issues. It arose at the same time as the emergence of environmental ethics in the United States and now seems to function as a global paradigm, since all of our ecosystems are in danger. The concept of “natural Artefacts” allows us to conceptualise the hybrid forms that are emerging, designed by human beings but integrated into natural processes: natural Artefacts provide an opportunity to rethink the ties of caring that bind humans to their near and distant environment