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Finding a Way Beyond Away: Re-Imagining Infrastructure with Deb Chachra

In this episode, materials scientist and engineering professor Deb Chachra shares about infrastructure. Her book ‘How Infrastructure Works: Inside the Systems that Shape Our World’ is a multi-layered dive into infrastructure. In this episode, Deb and Kate explore ideas of how we move resources to bodies and waste away from bodies. It is a brief exploration of the rise of globalization and our telecommunications, physical infrastructure, and roads, but it is also an exploration of how access to energy is also access to agency. In it, the concept of ‘away’ is explored – whether it’s the away that we send our waste or the away from which we extract resources using human labor and the complexities of infrastructure’s harms and benefits. It’s also a re-imagining of what the future could look like, which Deb reminds us “is not inevitable” and how we can ask ourselves questions about our values and how we might shape the our care for people now and in the future. Infrastructure is a big and complex subject and Deb’s book deftly explores it. This episode is a small peek into her work. 

Find Deb::

How Infrastructure Works: Inside the Systems That Shape Our World by Deb Chachra

Metafoundry Newsletter

X: @debcha

Instagram: @debcha

Books Mentioned:

Crossings by Ben Goldfarb

Do Artifacts Have Politics? By Langdon Winner

The Power Broker by Robert Moses 

Golden Gulag by Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Other Episodes of Interest:

With Ben Goldfarb

Solo on Infrastructure

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