The field of design has radically expanded. As a practice, design is no longer limited to the world of material objects, but rather extends from carefully crafted individual looks and online identities, to the surrounding galaxies of personal devices, new materials, interfaces, networks, systems, infrastructures, data, chemicals, organisms, and genetic codes, as Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, curators of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, put it in their manifesto (). Our response to the Biennial’s theme—Are We Human?—draws from “The Obligation to Self-Design” (e-flux Journal 0, ), a text by Boris Groys in which a genealogy of design is traced from the design of the soul and the design of the self to "the design of life as a whole." Superhumanity seeks to explore and challenge our understanding of “design” by engaging with and departing from the concept of the “self.” Superhumanity aims to probe the idea that we are and always have been continuously reshaped by the artifacts we shape, to which we ask: who designed the lives we live today? What are the forms of life we inhabit, and what new forms are currently being designed? Where are the sites, and what are the techniques, to design others? Over fifty writers, scientists, artists, architects, designers, philosophers, historians, archeologists and anthropologists will bring new insight to these and related questions.

In addition to online publication, a Superhumanity reading room was exhibited from October 22 to November 20 at DEPO (Tütün Deposu Lüleci Hendek Caddesi No.12, Tophane 34425 İstanbul) as a part of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial.

e-flux Architecture collaborated with the Royal College of Art School of Architecture to produce a series of responses to Superhumanity texts on e-flux conversations. To view the responses, click here.

On March 22, 2017, Superhumanity manifested at Artista x Artista in Havana, Cuba for a series of talks on the legacy of revolution. For more information, click here.

On October 28–29, 2017, Superhumanity manifested at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea for a series of talks on Post-Labor, Psychopathology, and Plasticity. For more information, click here.

In 2018, thanks to support from the Graham Foundation, the original fifty contributions were published by the University of Minnesota Press as Superhumanity: Design of the Self.

Beatriz Colomina
Nikolaus Hirsch
Anton Vidokle
Mark Wigley

Deputy Editor
Nick Axel

Image Editor
Mariana Silva

Superhumanity is a project by e-flux Architecture at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, produced in cooperation with the Istanbul Design Biennial, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand, and the Ernst Schering Foundation.

Mark Wasiuta
Ecstatic Purification
Arisa Ema
Tasks and Values
Jaehee Kim
Posthuman Labor
Erik and Ronald Rietveld
Affordances and Architecture
Hannah Proctor
Mournful Militancy
Chin Jungkwon
Play and Labor
Common Accounts
Going Fluid
Nick Axel, Beatriz Colomina, Nikolaus Hirsch, Jihoi Lee, Anton Vidokle, and Mark Wigley
Editorial—Post-Labor, Psychopathology, Plasticity
Nick Axel, Beatriz Colomina, Nikolaus Hirsch, Anton Vidokle, and Mark Wigley
Closing editorial
Anton Vidokle and Arseny Zhilyaev
Art without Death
Franco “Bifo” Berardi
Engineering Self
Mark Cousins
We Are Red Parakeets
Ahmet Öğüt
After the Third End
Paulo Tavares
In The Forest Ruins
Francesca Hughes
Facilities for Correction
Jack Self
Beyond the Self
Alexander Tarakhovsky
Beyond the Gene
Spyros Papapetros
The Birth of Design
Ingo Niermann
Real Estate Porn
Giuliana Bruno
Storage Space
Rubén Gallo
Designer Sex
Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty
The One-Foot Shop
Tony Chakar
Down with the World
Daniel Birnbaum and Sven-Olov Wallenstein
Spatial Thought
Felicity D. Scott
Lesser Worlds
Ina Blom
On Snow Dancing
Lydia Kallipoliti
Masters and Slaves
Common Accounts

Common Accounts was founded by Igor Bragado and Miles Gertler at Princeton University in 2015. Equipped with excellent data plans, the office operates over satellite, server, and fiber cable between Seoul, Toronto, and New York.

Lucia Allais

Lucia Allais is an architectural historian and theorist who teaches at Princeton University, a member of Aggregate, and an editor of Grey Room.

Shumon Basar

Shumon Basar is a writer, editor, and thought councellor.

Ruha Benjamin

Ruha Benjamin is assistant professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of People's Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press, 2013).

Franco “Bifo” Berardi

Franco Berardi, aka “Bifo,” founder of the famous Radio Alice in Bologna and an important figure in the Italian Autonomia movement, is a writer, media theorist, and social activist.

Daniel Birnbaum

Daniel Birnbaum is Director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

Ina Blom

Ina Blom is the author of The Autobiography of Video. The Life and Times of a Memory Technology (Sternberg Press, 2016).

Giuliana Bruno

Giuliana Bruno is Emmet Blakeney Gleason Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. She recently published Surface: Matters of Aesthetics, Materiality, and Media (University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Zeynep Çelik Alexander

Zeynep Çelik Alexander is an architectural historian who teaches at the University of Toronto.

Tony Chakar
Tony Chakar is an architect, artist and writer. He teaches at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA/UOB).
Mark Cousins

Mark Cousins is Director of History and Theory at the Architectural Association in London.

Simon Denny

Simon Denny is an artist based in Berlin. His recent exhibitions explore the implications of blockchain technology on sovereignty.

Keller Easterling

Keller Easterling is a writer, designer, and professor at Yale University.

Arisa Ema

Arisa Ema is Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo and Visiting Researcher at RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project in Japan.

Hu Fang

Hu Fang is a novelist, art critic, and the cofounder and artistic director of Vitamin Creative Space in Guangzhou. His published novels include Dear NavigatorGarden of Mirrored Flowers, and New Arcade, Shopping Utopia. He lives and works in Beijing and Guangzhou.

Rubén Gallo

Rubén Gallo teaches at Princeton University and is author of Freud's Mexico (MIT Press, 2010) and Proust's Latin Americans (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

Liam Gillick

Liam Gillick is an artist. He is the author of Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820 (Columbia University Press, 2016).

Boris Groys

Boris Groys is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and an internationally renowned expert on Soviet-era art and literature, especially the Russian avant-garde. He is a Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, a Senior Research Fellow at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, and a professor of philosophy at the European Graduate School (EGS). His work engages radically different traditions, from French post-structuralism to modern Russian philosophy, yet is firmly situated at the juncture of aesthetics and politics. Theoretically, Groys’s work is influenced by a number of modern and postmodern philosophers and theoreticians, including Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze, and Walter Benjamin.

Andrew Herscher

Andrew Herscher endeavors to bring the study of architecture and cities to bear on struggles for rights, democracy, and justice across a range of global sites. He teaches at the University of Michigan and has co-founded a series of militant research collaboratives including the We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective, Decolonizing Pedagogies Workshop, and the Settler Colonial City Project.

Tom Holert

Tom Holert is an art historian, curator, and cultural critic based in Berlin who works on learning curves and knowledge vessels at the crossroads of politics, economy, contemporary art, design, and architecture. He is also a cofounder of the Harun Farocki Institut, Berlin.

Brooke Holmes

Brooke Holmes is Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University.

Sungook Hong

Sungook Hong teaches at the Program in History and Philosophy of Science, Seoul National University.

Francesca Hughes

Francesca Hughes is an architectural theorist and educator who teaches at the AA, London. Author of The Architecture of Error: Matter, Measure and the Misadventures of Precision, she is currently working on a pre-history of the Universal Discrete Machine.

Yuk Hui

Yuk Hui is a philosopher from Hong Kong. He obtained his PhD from Goldsmiths College London and his Habilitation from Leuphana University Lüneburg. He teaches at the City University of Hong Kong. His latest book is Recursivity and Contingency (2019).

Andrés Jaque

Andrés Jaque is the founder of the Office for Political Innovation, a Madrid/New York based practice that brings inclusivity into daily life through architecture.

Chin Jungkwon

Chin Jungkwon is professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Dongyang University and director of the Institute of Technology and Aesthetics, where he leads multidisciplinary studies connecting liberal arts, games, design, and engineering.

Lydia Kallipoliti

Lydia Kallipoliti is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at The Cooper Union in New York and the author of The Architecture of Closed Worlds (2018). She is the principal of ANAcycle thinktank.

Thomas Keenan
Thomas Keenan teaches media, literature, and human rights at Bard College.
Jaehee Kim

Jaehee Kim is Visiting Professor at Sungkyunkwan University. She has written on and translated the work of Gilbert Simondon, Henri Bergson, Jacques Derrida, and Bernard Stiegler.

Sylvia Lavin

Sylvia Lavin is Professor of Architecture at Princeton University.

Yongwoo Lee

Yongwoo Lee is a media historian and cultural studies scholar based in New York and Seoul. He teaches media and cultural studies of modern Korea, film theory and popular culture in East Asia, intellectual history of wartime Japan and postwar Korea, Korean contemporary art and post/colonial historiography in the Department of East Asian Studies at New York University.

Lesley Lokko

Lesley Lokko is a Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic, and novelist. She is the founder and director of African Futures Institute, Accra, Ghana and was Dean of the Bernard & Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY from 2019–2020. She was the founder and director of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg from 2014–2019.

MAP Office

MAP Office is a multidisciplinary platform devised by Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix, based in Hong Kong since 1996.

Catherine Malabou

Catherine Malabou is a French philosopher. She is professor in the Philosophy Department at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University.

Chus Martínez

Chus Martinez is head of the Art Institute at the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel. She is also the expedition leader of The Current II (2018–20), a project initiated by TBA21–Academy. Additionally, in 2021 and 2022, Martínez will hold the artistic directorship of Ocean Space, Venice, a space spearheaded by TBA21–Academy that promotes ocean literacy, research, and advocacy through the arts.


Ingo Niermann

Ingo Niermann is a writer and the editor of the Solution Series. His recent publications include Solution 295–304: Mare Amoris and the video series Deutsch Süd-Ost (at steirischer herbst '20).

Ahmet Öğüt

Ahmet Öğüt is a sociocultural initiator, artist, and lecturer who lives and works in Istanbul, Berlin, and Amsterdam.

Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work spans image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines.

Spyros Papapetros

Spyros Papapetros is Associate Professor of History and Theory in the School of Architecture and the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. He is author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (Chicago University Press, 2012).

Hannah Proctor

Hannah Proctor is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry (ICI) Berlin where she is currently working on a project exploring the temporal paradoxes of “radical psychiatry” (broadly conceived) with an emphasis on forms of care developed in the aftermath of political struggles.

Juliane Rebentisch

Juliane Rebentisch is Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at the University of Arts and Design in Offenbach/Main, Germany.

Erik and Ronald Rietveld

Erik Rietveld is a senior researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Ronald Rietveld is a Prix de Rome Architecture laureate. Together they founded RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances], a design and research studio operating at the crossroads of architecture, science, and art.

Sophia Roosth

Sophia Roosth is the Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Her first book, Synthetic: How Life Got Made, will be released by the University of Chicago Press in March 2017.

Felicity D. Scott

Felicity D. Scott is Associate Professor of Architecture, Director of the Ph.D. program in Architecture (History and Theory), and Co-director of the Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture (CCCP) program at Columbia GSAPP. Her most recent book is Outlaw Territories: Environments of Insecurity/Architectures of Counter-insurgency (Zone Books, 2016).

Jack Self

Jack Self is an architect based in London. He is Director of REAL and Editor-in-Chief of Real Review.

Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty

Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shety are urbanists and cofounders of the School of Environment and Architecture in Mumbai.

Hito Steyerl

Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker and writer who lives in Berlin.

Kali Stull

Kali Stull is an activist and a recent graduate from the Master of Public Health program at the University of Pittsburgh, where her research focused on nonhuman agencies which affect human health.

Alexander Tarakhovsky

Alexander Tarakhovsky is a scientist, writer, and artist.

Paulo Tavares

Paulo Tavares is currently a researcher at FAU-USP, Brasil, and a long-term collaborator of Forensic Architecture.

Stephan Trüby

Stephan Trüby is Professor of Architecture and Cultural Theory at the TU München and associate of the magazine ARCH+. He was head of research and development for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, directed by Rem Koolhaas.

Etienne Turpin

Etienne Turpin is a philosopher, Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Founding Director of anexact office in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Anton Vidokle

Anton Vidokle is an editor of e-flux journal.

Sven-Olov Wallenstein

Sven-Olov Wallenstein is Professor of Philosophy at Södertörn Högskola in Stockholm.

Mark Wasiuta

Mark Wasiuta is a curator, architect, and writer who co-directs Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia University GSAPP.

Eyal Weizman

Eyal Weizman is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures and founding director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2010 he founded the research agency Forensic Architecture and directs it ever since.

Mabel O. Wilson

Mabel O. Wilson is an architectural designer and cultural historian. She has authored Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016) and Negro Building: African Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (2012). At Columbia University she is a Professor of Architecture, a co-director of Global Africa Lab and the Associate Director at the Institute for Research in African American Studies. She’s a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture? (WBYA?) a collective that advocates for fair labor practices on building sites worldwide.

Brian Kuan Wood

Brian Kuan Wood is an editor of e-flux journal.

Liam Young

Liam Young is a speculative architect and director who operates in the spaces between design, fiction, and futures. He is cofounder of the urban futures think tank Tomorrows Thoughts Today and the nomadic research studio Unknown Fields.

Arseny Zhilyaev

Arseny Zhilyaev is an artist based in Moscow and Venice. His projects examine the legacy of Soviet museology and the museum within the philosophy of Russian Cosmism.

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