Svetlana Usenyuk

Posted on August 2016

Prior to joining Empirica, Svetlana was a doctoral student and part-time teacher at the School of Arctic Design, Ural State Academy of Architecture and Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia. She received her PhD in 2011, with a dissertation devoted to transport vehicles for remote areas of Russian Arctic. Her research interests include crafted mobility, technology appropriation and traditional knowledge of Arctic nomads. To study all that, she travels extensively in Russian North and Fennoscandia.

Post-doctoral research
Arctic Systems of Adaptation and Survival: Traditions and Innovations

This postdoctoral research is an attempt to link the results from theoretical modeling of human-object coexistence in aggressive natural environments, particularly in circumpolar regions, with the relevant empirical work. The main objective is to examine material culture of Arctic indigenous peoples in order to reveal their principles of adaptation and survival through man-made things. The methodological approach to this problem is both ethnographic and ergonomic. In the light of the design, I propose to use a specialized branch of synergetic methodology, so-called synergetic of creativity. The core idea is to enable designers to use the indigenous knowledge in a creative and prospective way.

“Indigenous peoples of the Arctic do have unique knowledge on sustainable and comfortable way of living in extreme environmental conditions, and this knowledge is presented best in their artifacts and practices. It is indeed a professional challenge for designers to utilize this knowledge for contemporary Arctic development, in a creative and ethical way.”

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