Clemens is a philosopher, more-than-human geographer and science & technology studies scholar, who is fascinated by processes of innovation that never seem to run the way people imagined them. Eager to study abstract ideas in a hands-on way, he was involved in several ground breaking projects –notably a video game for pigs to play with humans and a mobile milking robot– that ended up failing more or less spectacularly. Always ready to join exciting ventures, beware to invite him to participate, as he believes in learning through failure.

Clemens studied Systems Engineering and Policy Analysis (now TBM) at TU Delft, graduating with a project on the ethical considerations around a novel wastewater management technology, after which he studied Philosophy of Technology at the University of Amsterdam. In 2014 he received his PhD (cum laude) at Wageningen University, with a thesis on ethics in innovations that involve animals. He has held postdoctoral research positions at King’s College London (Geography) and Utrecht University (Philosophy), before joining Cultural Geography in the Environmental Sciences Group of Wageningen University.

At AMS, together with Roberto Rocco (TU Delft, Urbanism), he coordinates the course “Metropolitan Innovators”, which strives to enable students to understand urban and metropolitan challenges with a critical scholarly attitude by focussing on three perspectives: spatial justice, socio-technical transitions, and (eco-)systems. In this course Clemens focuses on the socio-technical angle, facilitating experiments with ways of understanding processes of innovation while exploring possible roles in these.

Clemens currently works on sociotechnical change in which humans are not considered to be exclusively in control. Often in collaboration with designers, artists and others, he develops ways of intervening in debates on (urban) biodiversity, food, agriculture and robots. He occasionally guest lectures at Design Academy Eindhoven, is associate editor of Humanimalia, an open access journal for human/animal interface studies, and a member of the subcommittee Ethics and Societal Aspects at the Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification. Convinced we should not focus on only Metropolitan challenges, he contributed to the 2020 exhibition ‘Countryside: the future’ at the Guggenheim Museum New York with an installation called ‘Descartes was here: Looking for the origin of Cartesian Space’.

“At AMS Institute I explore the challenges we face together with an amazingly diverse set of creative, critical and constructive students.”

Clemens Driessen

MADE Course Coordinator Metropolitan Innovators