1. In what way can cartography revolutionize the future of design?
Emmanuel Ducourneau: You can’t imagine a sailor navigating without any maps! In the same way, a designer must have a good knowledge of the ecosystems that are involved, for better or worse, by the products he creates. Most of us ignore that an electronic chip can actually entail up to 500 stages in its manufacturing process and imply the work of almost 16,000 subcontractors, according to French journalist Guillaume Pitron. When it comes to analysing the impact of a well-known fashion accessory designed by a famous French company, it can easily reach up to 400 million km2.
I am now developing a mapping tool in partnership with CNRS, that will enable designers to measure a wide range of influences notably on the atmosphere, plants, minerals, humans, industries and administrations, through the evaluation of the invisible dimension of the manufacturing chains, for example, how a bean currently grown in Pakistan can end up as a thickener used in a fabric dye. Cartography is a promising tool which, on the one hand, aims at reducing the footprint of any product, enabling experts to spot social and environmental risks, and on the other hand, connecting designers with the living matter. Being- oriented design, through cartography, is neither a marketing nor an activist approach since it is about revealing the best and the worse, enchantment and disenchantment.