Whether We Design: A Weather Report

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The following report summarises a conversation between staff and students about the weather and design at a School of Design PhD seminar at the Royal College of Art on 16th February and 9th March 2023.

A Strange Weather, A Strange Word.

Very often, the words climate and weather are used interchangeably. It would seem that both terms stem from the same root, but this is not the case. Climate comes from the late Latin clima and the Greek klima, meaning ‘slope’ or ‘lean’. Wither, or weather, instead, comes from the Germanic root linked to ‘wind’ (Cresswell, 2021). Regardless of their roots, the interdependence between climate and weather might be why the meaning of climate has significantly changed over the years. At first, climate meant a “zone of the earth between two lines of latitude”. Later, it was referred to as earth’s “atmospheric conditions” (ibid.). Today, the climate is conceptualised as “an integrated biogeophysical system highly vulnerable to human interference” (Dryzek, 2022). Strangely, as we begin to perceive weather as both vulnerable and extreme, weather and climate will likely mean something entirely different for future generations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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