I am currently studying on the MA Sustainable Design part-time and have just completed my first year.
All my work for this past year falls within the realm of interspecies design, looking at how we can design in a less humancentric way that helps more than one species.
For my “Presents” module I focused on giving myself a strong grounding in this area by studying the work of other designers within this field such as Natalie Jeremijenko, Neri Oxman, and Thomas Thwaites. This enabled me to establish where I wanted my project to sit (see diagram below) and produce a short-animated film to show this.
I then carried on this project for my next “Futures” module. Here I tightened my personally set boundaries, narrowing in on conservation, and more specifically, conservation within an urban environment.
This area of study is a reasonably recent and topical subject. Only in the last decade or so have many researchers taken an interest in the other species that have made our man-made environments their homes, and species that have specifically evolved to do just that!
For this module I developed a speculative model of design that centred around a multi-species biscuit recipe card. The recipe is made up of two parts. The inner biscuit for humans is encased in a biscuit made for birds that acts as the packaging. This bird biscuit is made from a mixture, which is normally used to make ‘fat balls’. These give birds the nourishment, in particular fat, that they need in winter when the ground is hard. Both biscuits use similar ingredients; coconut oil as the fat, oats, sunflower seeds, raisins and mealworms for their high protein content.
I will keep going with this topic for my main studio work next year. During lockdown I have started a journal of some of the other species that I have crossed paths with. I hope to share these experiences and stories as a contribution to the “The Urban Field Naturalist Project”; this is a project primarily based in Australia, which collates stories of participants’ interactions with their neighbouring species during lockdown.
Please do email me if you have any personal stories or experiences of new interactions with nature that have taken place whilst in lockdown.
See my workbooks for both projects attached below.