Collective wondering: enabling productive uncertainty in agroecological codesign

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the transformative relations of unknowable possibility in three urban communities which upcycle human waste. Working with communities – human and nonhuman – is approached by applying the dynamic model of collective wondering conceived as (i) provisional proposition, (ii) responsiveness to difference, and (iii) affirmation in/of uncertainty. The communities act in concert with people, microbes, and earthworms to address unsustainable food systems. Their profoundly self-implicating engagement on the material, social and cultural level stems from a pendulation between actionable immersion (wondering at) and perspectival detachment (wondering about). Community – understood as togetherness in wondering – becomes a conduit for imaginative, counter-intuitive thinking, and doing that can diversify existent, dominant, and hegemonic perspectives. Three agroecological cases illustrate how cultivating a rich, interactive context for exchanging or moving positions give birth to a plurality of perspectives, human and nonhuman, on the world. Since physical, social, and cultural positions in people and groups are never fully determined, codesign that provides ample possibility for repositioning – including unsettling bathroom routines, group debates, compost care, and agroecological tinkering – is crucial for opening perspectives and influencing how people act in close relation with unknowable otherness.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021


  • Agroecological exploration
  • community
  • ferment
  • human waste
  • situational analysis
  • social creativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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