What planet do we design for?


Within this figure, the human ceases to be an agent of planetary processes and is seen more as their accident or aftereffect, a mere medium among other mediums.

Act 1

The speech of a congresswoman candidate was just finished. Chairs are moving, people are gathering around the tables for a stand up dinner and noise from random conversations can be heard .

Fig. 1- Bionic bar, 2014, Carlo Ratti. Restaurant Enviornment

Robot Waiter: bzzzzz Mrs. Johanna, this is the table for you and your guests. Your food would come in a second.

bzzzzz robot leaves


Random Group: Good speech Mrs. Johanna!

*glasses clinking* *people cheering*

Johanna: Thank you! – She says while smiling to her voters.

Johanna: Sirius what did you really think of my speech? – she says now looking serious towards her Architect and friend.

Sirius: I completely agree with you.! I strongly feel we need to create and defend all that we want to compose in the world we want to live in.(1)He says in an optimistic way.

Johanna: I wonder if people will find these statements shallow.

*the chair behind them moves abruptly*

Thomas: Well actually, I have some thoughts regarding your speech. Do you mind if i share them?

Johanna: No, no! Go ahead – she says enthusiastically

Thomas: Ok. So first, you said, in your speech, a lot about the climate crisis, and I wonder if this is not just a political problem but is also a geopolitical affair. Do you intend to evolve this into a philosophical matter?

Johanna: Ahmmm.. Are you a philosopher maybe? – she asks curiously.

*sirius stomach grunts*

Thomas: As a matter of fact I am! And I genuinely think that philosophical matters are not enough explored in political speeches – He says looking disappointed

Johanna: That’s true! But to get out of the standards I’m actually an enthusiast of many philosophical studies.

Thomas: Ok. So what are your thoughts on the relation between the climate crises in that sense?. – He says looking a bit skeptical.

Johanna: I believe that we humans are inseparable from our environment, we need to have a sense of responsibility in our acts. We cannot change what has already being done, but we can control our impact from now on individually and collectively – She says seeming determined.

Thomas: That is a bit naive, don’t you think? – He says kindly.

Johanna: I don’t think so! I believe in humanity and our power to improve our planet and to achieve resilience. – She says even more determined.

*sirius stomach grunts once more*

Sirius: Isn’t this food ever coming? – He says spontaneously

Johanna: I think they are still preparing it. – She says losing the focus of the discussion.

Thomas: Isn’t this all efforts to delay what is inevitable? – He says ignoring Sirius complains.

Sirius: What is inevitable? Climate change? Us destroying the planet? – He says impatiently.

Thomas: I mean, We are going to get extinct anyway and Earth will comeback to its balance in a different form, like it has done many times before. – He says calmly.

Johanna: But we need to think of future generations!

Thomas: You are saying as if humans were in control of the situation, but we are not.

Fig 3: Johanner Van Loon. Typus selenographicus


*robot waiter enters with a plate of food*

Robot waiter: Here is your filet mignon with herbs risotto. Do you need anything else, Sir?

Sirius: Finally! You probably don’t know how that feels but I was actually in pain of hungriness. He says to the robot.

Robot waiter: bzzzz I do not understand what hunger is. Can you repeat? bzzzzz

Sirius: You truly are the evolved species. – He says already eating.


*robot water leaves*

*everyone laughs at sirius joke*

Sirius: Hmmmm this is good… – he says making eating sounds

Johanna: Now that you are improving your mood Sirius, what do you think about what Thomas is saying? – She says looking at the food and starting to get hungry as well.

Sirius: Well I think that this Earth without us that Thomas is talking about maybe is not so bad. – He says more calm now.

Thomas: Exactly! It is not necessarily a pessimist way of seeing the future. – He says finally feeling understood.

Sirius: Thinking of our extinction can actually help us to address the geopolitical dimension of climate emergency in relation way of imagining the planet (1). – he says while enjoying his food.

Thomas: As William Connolly in Facing the Planetary said, “This world is neither our oyster nor our servant.” (2) – he says reflectively

Sirius: Because after all, only after we fully embrace the extreme probability of our own collective non-existence, we can truly secure a sense of value for humanity’s planetary existence (1). – He says with his mouth full.

*the chef approaches the table*

*everyone looks to the chef*

Emma: Hello guys! Everything tasting good over here? – She says looking at a table of almost all empty plates

*Johanna looks at Sirius still eating his plate in pleasure*

Johanna: Sirius seems like he is enjoying! – She says looking at the food almost finished.

*Emma laughs*

Emma: Isn’t everyone’s food here already? – She says looking at the empty plates.

Johanna: Not really, but we can wait. – She says politely

Emma: I’m sorry for the delay! Our products should have come in the morning, but there was a delay in the order. The only things we were able to get in time is what is produced here in town.

Johanna: Oh you have things that are produced locally? – She says enthusiastically

*they smell smoke*


Sirius: Are you ok?

Thomas: Is probably just the cigarettes, haha. Please, continue. He says while still coughing.

Emma: Not all yet but we are moving towards that direction. – She says looking towards the kitchen to see if the smell comes from there.

Johanna: That’s great! I believe that when “locally grown” becomes the norm in our food system it’s when it will truly be more sustainable (3). – She says thinking campaign wise.

Sirius: In a way now, this relates to our conversation. We are literally eating our planet now. – He says looking at his plate

*people start looking at the kitchen to see if the smell of smoke comes from there*

Thomas: We kind of are! It’s incredible, there was time we used to think of our planet in a global vision, as just a perfect smooth sphere, enabling horizontal segmentation of its surfaces, just a divided territory (1). And now we can say the planet is in our plate. – He says reflectively.

Emma: That’s beautiful! Gonna have to use that in the restaurant slogan! – She says smiling at the people in the table.

Johanna: And I for my campaign!

*everyone laughs*

*Emma looks towards the kitchen again to see if there is any problem there*

Thomas: Ok, if all food was locally grown that would be great , but in a place like Australia, where it is not affordable to even live already in the centers, how are we going to plant at reasonable prices? – He says looking towards the congresswoman candidate.

Sirius: Downtown commercial zones might not be affordable, yet every large city has plenty of less desirable sites that often go begging for projects that would bring in much needed revenue (4). – He says while cleaning some soot from his jacket.

Thomas: I suppose… ATCHIN – He says then sniffs.

Johanna: Bless you! That is actually one of the studies Sirius will be doing during our campaign. To analyse where we have abandoned sites and buildings we can reintegrate in the city system as food production sites. – She says while taking off her jacket from the sudden heat wave.

Emma: Excuse me everyone, but I’m just gonna check if everything is ok in the kitchen. Please enjoy the food. – She says as she goes rapidly to the kitchen.


*robot waiter enters with the remaining plates of food*

Johanna: Is something happening in the kitchen? – She says worried.

Sirius: Maybe something burned…

Thomas: I hope your plan has results, because transporting the food for many miles adds cost, consumes fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide. If we can produce here it would be great (5). – He says surprisingly optimistic.

*people from other tables start getting up rapidly*


Johanna: Fire? In the kitchen? – She says worried.

Sirius: Seems like there is some fire in the forest? – He says looking at his phone confused.


Johanna: Can we do anything to help stop it? – She says trying to be helpful.

Thomas: Fire? That happens every time here, it’s probably nothing! – He says enjoying the food that had just come.


Sirius: I think the bodyguard is right, look outside! – He says pointing to the window.

Thomas looks outside and see the bright colours of the fire spreading all around. After ignoring the facts of the real situation, Thomas sees the problem with his own eyes. Johanna in her terrestrial view of the planet wants to help save the people in the situation and contain the fire in a constant intent to save the world. Sirius tries to get informed as much as he can but accept the harsh reality of the current situation. All of them act alongside with their views of the planet.


*robot continues to serve tables*

Robot waiter: Here is your filet mignon with herbs risotto. Do you need anything else, Sir?

Fig 4: Noah Berger/AP. A firefighter hoses down hotspots as the Mosquito Fire burns in California. 2022.