Day 2

2nd Untaming the Urban Symposium 2018 Proceedings

Presentation abstracts and discussion questions

(see Symposium 2018 link for full shedule)


Session 1: Cities as Complex Ecologies

1.1. Reconceptualising Beyond Nature-Based Solutions
Cecily Maller (Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University Australia)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Who ‘speaks’ for urban, non-human species, can non-human species speak for themselves and do we know how to listen?
  2. What are more inclusive, and potentially more effective, multispecies’ interventions
  3. How could these help us define the act of ‘untaming the urban’?

Beyond Nature-Based Solutions:This presentation begins from the standpoint that in the context of nature-based solutions for urban sustainability, cities must be re-conceptualized as places for more than just people; in other words, they should be thought of, and governed, as ‘more-than-human habitats’ where both humans and other species are encouraged to flourish. Nature based solutions have the potential to, and are transforming, many cities that were once considered ‘biodiversity wastelands’. Diverging from previous thought, urban places are now increasingly recognized as sites of important cross-species habitat. For example, in Australia, regions of Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane are now known as ‘biodiversity hotspots’ (Garrard & Bekessy 2014, p. 63). Cities are also being found to be crucial habitat for threatened species, such that urban areas are of greater importance for conservation than non-urban areas (Ives et al. 2016). Keeping these developments in mind, the presentation provides an outline of the more-than-human thinking and theories that have arisen in a number of disciplines and how it can be used to foster greater appreciation of the non-human species – or publics – in cities. One outcome of this shift in thinking is to encourage policymakers, planners and researchers to reframe problems and experiment with innovative ways of using nature-based solutions to help cities overcome their human-centeredness to create more inclusive, and potentially more effective, multispecies’ interventions. Finally, the presentation reviews some of the questions of politics and ethics that arise when using more-than human thinking to reconceptualise cities as more-than-human habitat.

Cecily Maller: is Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow at RMIT University’s Centre for Urban Research. Her research focuses on human-environment interactions in urban settings in the context of everyday life. She is particularly interested in how people interact with animals and plants in homes and neighbourhoods, how these interactions affect health and wellbeing, and the implications for making cities greener and more biodiverse. Although an interdisciplinary scholar, her work is broadly situated in human geography, specialising in post-humanist approaches and qualitative methods.

 

1.2. Praxis Panel: Permaculture – Cally Brennan, FeldenkraisEva Culek, Architecture & Art – Louise Wright, Mauro Baracco & Linda Tegg

Discussion Questions:

  1. To what extent has urban practice ‘tamed’ the landscape, humans and other species?
  2. What approaches and opportunities already exist for changing urban practice?
  3. How could ‘untaming the urban’ provide positive opportunities for humans, other urban species and the landscape we all inhabit?

1.2a Permaculture: a design strategy for successful living (and growing) in Canberra  – Dr Cally Brennan

(Permaculture Designer and Founder, Canberra Permaculture Design and Education www.canberrapermaculturedesign.com.au & Board Director, Permaculture Australia https://permacultureaustralia.org.au/)

Permaculture is a design approach that aims to create, as far as possible, self-sustaining, balanced ecosystems (on any scale) that provide food, medicine and other materials for human needs, underpinned with ethics aimed at fostering a sharing and caring society. We do this by closely observing and working with, rather than against, natural patterns, processes, and the habits of species.

From redbacks, rats, cats and cockatoos, to endangered parrots and pesky possums, not to mention all sorts of native and exotic plants, Canberra, the ‘bush capital’ is a veritable ecotone, full of complex and mingling ecologies. Overall there appear to be many advantages to having the plethora of species that reside with humans in Canberra. Nonetheless there are ‘pest’ species that do cause problems. While it’s not always possible to address the ultimate cause of an imbalance, any ecological plan, management or design focused in a city needs to be mindful of all relevant system-wide issues and pressures if it is to succeed. Permaculture analysis assists with this as pests are not identified as problems in and of themselves, but are seen as symptoms of an ecosystem out of balance, or the creation of overly favourable conditions for specific species.

By considering the positive outcomes for a variety of species (including ourselves) possible through permaculture design this presentation will prompt reflection on what sort of ecologies we might want in Canberra and what this could entail.

Cally Brennan: Always a keen gardener, Cally has been practising permaculture for nearly 10 years. She has studied permaculture design with John Champagne, Graham Bell and Dr Ross Mars. In 2013 she founded Canberra Permaculture Design and Education to service Canberra and the surrounding region. This small business provides garden advice and designs for both urban and nearby rural properties. In April 2018, she was elected as a Director onto the Board of Permaculture Australia.

Cally has worked in many fields, including teaching and academia. Since moving to Canberra in 2006, she has worked in a range of energy and climate-change related roles in the public service. She has a BA from the University of Western Australia and a PhD from Melbourne University.

Cally lives in Cook with her partner and their 6-year-old daughter, together with two dogs and a rather greedy resident possum.

1.2b Grasslands Repair, a collaborative work between Architecture & Art – Louise Wright & Mauro Baracco (Baracco+Wright Architects) & Linda Tegg (Artist)

Grasslands Repair, a collaborative work between Baracco+Wright Architects, artist Linda Tegg and involving scientists and ecologists, was installed at the 2018 Venice Biennale in the Australian Pavilion and created the conditions to sustain more-than-human life. Still reliant on human care, 65 species of Western Plains Grassland were grown under Skylight – 100 LED lights.

Through this intervention in the Australian Pavilion, Grasslands Repair encouraged the viewer to consider anew this plant community, the ground, things overlooked, as a site for more-than-human use through its presentation in the Australian Pavilion by changing the viewing conditions.

Baracco+Wright’s built architectural works aim to provide for more-than-human life, Linda Tegg’s art works reframe how we conventionally ‘see’. Together we will present a reflection on our built architectural works and Grasslands Repair collaborative work that will provide a context to discuss ways of seeing beyond human use and metaphor that can tell us about place, creating new spaces for coexistence and questions of care and dependence in a collaboration between humans and non humans.

1.2c Feldenkrais Movement Practice in the human zooEva Culek

The built environment, object design, and culture dictate human movement pathways and bound perceptual parameters in favoured ways. My presentation will focus on our relationship to movement and sensation and explore how context alters our comportment and behaviour. I argue that the machine metaphor of our body is being re-imagined and that we are confronted by ourselves as biological rather than technological entities. This ‘corporeal turn’ leads to a productive recovery of our animality. Drawing on examples from the re-wilding community and what is called the ‘movement movement’, I will discuss how recovered cultural technologies and practices restores the capacities of our senses and perceptions. I question whether sensitivity to the living world within and around us enhances engagement with interpersonal and interspecies boundaries.

My practice investigates the ways in which human experience can be improved through movement literacy.  I work with ‘everyday movement’ which is what we are doing when we go about day to day activities. Largely overlooked, the quality of our comportment has profound effects on our psychophysical state.  The Feldenkrais method is a way of becoming aware of habitual patterns in movement and thinking and uses novel movement explorations to access the brains capacity to form new pathways.  As a complementary health practitioner I have an holistic approach, and have been closely following the research on the impact that soil microbes have on the production of neurotransmitters. I also dance, occasionally do community art performances, dissect cadavers, and have nearly enough roadkill lizard skins to make myself a pair of boots.  Body politics, animality, psychosomatics, proxemics, empathy, nature-based learning, rewilding, wellbeing and workplace culture are some of my research interests.

Eva Culek: I am a Canberra based Feldenkrais practitioner with a background in remedial massage, craniosacral therapy and teaching in the Dept of Applied Science at CIT.  Since 1999 I have been in private practice assisting people with physical, psychological and and psychiatric issues and with performance enhancement. I have presented the Feldenkrais Method to interest groups since 2003 and co-facilitated with a variety of presenters.  I am currently training at the Laban Institute of Movements Studies in New York, USA.

1.3. Futures Facilitating Copoietic Life
Donna Houston (Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University, Sydney)
Jean Hillier (Emeritus Professor, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne)

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do urban practices damage landscapes and cause multispecies death?
  2. How might new combinations of species or novel ecosystems emerge unintentionally through practices of spatial planning? With what implications for humans and non-humans?
  3. How might we re-imagine urban practices for futures that enable multispecies lively conviviality?

Facilitating Copoietic Life: We are concerned with spatial planning, multispecies entanglements and damaged landscapes. Through stories of mosquitoes and black cockatoos in Perth, WA, we aim to demonstrate how more-than-human capacities are disturbed, damaged and/or enhanced in their lively entanglements in what Donna Haraway (2008) terms the ‘contact zones’ with humans as a result of spatial development planning practices.  We seek to make visible sites of death and life in urban development, highlighting planning’s imbrication in damaged or ‘blasted’ landscapes. We argue that knowledges and practices are reproduced and perpetuated out-of-sync with the ‘more-than-human histories through which ecologies are made and unmade’ (Gan et al 2017, G1).

We call for greater attunement to planning damage and multispecies entanglements as a key goal for ‘untaming urbanism for post-anthropocentric futures’. We explore alternative framings based on milieus as entanglements of knowledge and power, including economic, social, political, as well as environmental elements. We argue that earthly things and beings exist within ‘relational milieus’ and that planners should recognise that, as Ruddick (2017) says, ‘to live is also to destroy something in the act of living’. This involves asking: how does a particular human activity or mode of life affect the capacities of its milieus?  From such a vantage, it is then possible to develop more complex understandings of the ‘more-than-human’ entanglements of death and damage within planning systems.  Deborah Bird Rose (2012), for example, argues that we need to distinguish between forms of death that ultimately contribute to the flourishing of earthly life and those forms of death that unravel living arrangements to become ‘an event with no return’. This could lead to working differently, developing new spatial planning practices which require less land clearance, respect wetland catchments, use fewer pesticides, minimise hard runoff surfaces and so on.

We seek to re-imagine a future in which planning practice may begin to facilitate copoietic life: a ‘conducive shareability’ (Ettinger, 2006) or co-adaptive, more-than-human multispecies entanglement.

Donna Houston: is an urban and cultural geographer in the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University. Her research explores the intersections of urban political ecology and environmental justice in the Anthropocene; the biopolitics of climate change; toxic landscapes and bodies; and planning in the ‘more-than-human’ city.

Jean Hillier: research interests include planning theory and methodology in times of uncertainty and planning with non-human animals. Recent relevant articles include: ‘Is extermination to be the legacy of Mary Gilbert’s cat?’ (2016, with Byrne J.); ‘Make kin, not cities! Multispecies entanglements and ‘becoming-world’ in planning theory’, (2017, with Houston, D., MacCallum, D., Steele, W. and Byrne J.); ‘Cat-alysing attunement’, (2017); ‘No Place To Go? Management of Non-Human Animal Overflows in Australia’, (2017).


Session 2: Creature Structures

2.1. ReconceptualisingTrans-Species Giving
Elizabeth Demaray (via New York)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are our responsibilities to our companion species in the space of biodesign?
  2. What is the ethical frame work that should be considered in relation to collaboration with simple and complex life-forms?
  3. How do we manifest our “best selves” as designers in relation to the natural and built environment?

Design for the Non-Human and Trans-Species Giving: In 2004, the artist and theorist Roy Ascott coined the term “moist media” to represent the convergence between dry computational systems and wet biological processes. Ascott saw moist media as a way of extending the sensorium of the self. Today, advances in AI, genomic engineering, and computer science give artists and designers and scientists access to materials that are radically different from those that were available in the studio or the lab even ten years ago. Some wet-media makers may utilize these materials to explore issues in the anthropocene that are faced by humans and non-humans alike, while others may be motivated by the aesthetics of life itself.

Inherent in this kind of cultural production are major challenges, rewards, and a steep learning curve as artists grapple with new freedoms and responsibilities. Presented here are five artworks that I have authored that involve trans-species giving, trans-species collaboration, and design for the non-human (DFH). In addition to tracing the historical antecedents of each work, this presentation presents an ethical framework for collaboration between humans and non-humans in which we attempt to consider the aims, desires, and perceptual landscapes of our companion species.

Elizabeth Demaray: Working in the field of art/sci collaboration, Elizabeth Demaray builds listening stations for birds that play human music, cultures lichen on the sides of skyscrapers in New York City and designs alternative forms of housing for hermit crabs, out of plastic. With the engineer Dr. Qingze Zou, she is currently creating the IndaPlant Project: An Act of Trans-Species Giving. This project entails building light-sensing robotic supports for houseplants. These moving floraborgs allow potted-plants to roam freely in a domestic environment, in search of sunlight and water. Demaray is an Associate Professor of Fine Arts and head of concentrations in sculpture and intermedia at Rutgers University, Camden, NJ and an advisor in the Art and Artificial Intelligence Lab in the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers New Brunswick, NJ, in the United States.

2.2. PraxisDesigning living seawalls
Katherine Dafforn (Macquarie University/Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences)
Maria Vozzo (Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences/Macquarie University)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do we need to know to include other species in our urban design considerations?
  2. What kinds of benefits can “living seawalls” provide to humans and non-humans? How should we prioritise the benefits in the design?
  3. Who (i.e. stakeholders) needs to be involved in the design of living seawalls?

Designing living seawalls: The “urban sprawl” of built infrastructure into marine environments has left many native creatures homeless. These include grazers such as snails and filter feeders such as oysters and bristle worms. Conversely, built infrastructure may offer sanctuary to invading sea squirts and lace corals. The types of marine life surviving on these structures relates to several design factors including the material used in construction and the provision of micro/macro habitats as well as local environmental conditions such as light and wave energy.

Our understanding of how these factors might influence the types of marine life found on built infrastructure is increasingly being used to create “living seawalls” in a practice commonly referred to as “green engineering”.  Given that many more seawalls will be built in future to protect our coastal assets from climate change, there is an urgent need to scale up green engineering efforts and to create bespoke options that can be applied in different locations. We present a conceptual framework for co-habiting with marine life in our urban built environment. We use case studies of past green engineering and describe a new living seawall project that aims to bring large-scale benefit to humans and non-humans alike.

Katie Dafforn: is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Macquarie University and Deputy Director for the Sydney Harbour Research Program at SIMS. Katie’s research explores human impacts on marine communities and she has been investigating marine life in NSW estuaries for over 10 years.

2.3. Futures Finding Stories for Bees
Clare Mouat (Geography and Planning, The University of Western Australia)

Discussion Questions:

  1. How might urban disciplines use bee stories and structures to recalibrate cities as more-than-human without anthropomorphising, domesticating or endorsing a ‘good riddance’ mentality to bees and their role in human-environment flourishing?
  2. Which challenging future bee stories and scenarios will usefully disrupt prevailing narratives, creature structures, and policy discourses towards multi-species urban futures?
  3. What are personal, practical, and policy priorities for considering other urban species that will help us develop sustainable futures for urban everyday life?

Challenging Future Stories for Bees: Future stories for honey bees cross-cut scholarly and civic discourses that assess and shape the sustainable futures of Australian cities and society.  We already witness discourses and narratives that produce potential futures and possible ways of functioning at the urban frontiers for promoting human health and wellbeing: air, light, commons, housing, and immigration, for example. Honey bees (Apis Mellifera) raise peculiar multi-species challenges across this urban frontier. The plight of honey bees globally captures public imaginations and interventions in myriad forms across social media, internet, literature, and formal authority discourses (from EU to municipality). Honey bee decline inspires competing and overlapping narratives of dystopian futures (food insecurity), salvation (native species conservation) and technological innovation (robot bees). Yet in Australian cities, despite a spotlight on promoting industrial beekeeping and food safety, there is fragmented attention to bees in re-imagining our urban futures. A blind-spot exists in conventional urban planning and design: firstly, for blooming amateur beekeeping or bee-friendly and native gardens; and secondly, for challenging conventions for opportunities to champion multi-species coexistence now and towards more healthy, just, and prosperous urban futures. This presentation assesses fictional and scholarly representations of existing and potential narratives of bees to incorporate multi-species considerations into and beyond urban landscapes and planned futures. A thematic analysis reveals the assumptions, conditions and heterogeneous nature characterising bees and our urban environment in a climate of change and post-humanism.  Mobilising a hopeful place and language of story-telling and science is offered as an antidote to fear-based and partial responses in media and civil society. To this end, urban disciplines such as planning are particularly well-suited to establish desirable and pragmatic directions towards cross-species cohabitation and a post-anthropocentric future.

Clare Mouat: is a Geography and Planning Lecturer at the University of Western Australia (UWA). She specialises in the planning and political geographies of community and governance that cross-cut four main themes: (1) Human-Environment Health and Wellbeing; (2) Social sustainability and Housing; (3) Strategic planning and collaborative governance; and (4) Political and planning theory (with an emphasis on conflict and conflict transformation). Clare’s research portfolio is informed by and leads current theories and practices in community relations and collaborative planning developed throughout my tenure at leading Australasian universities and experiences living and working internationally. In the classroom and community settings, she is invited to share her research science and stories, which weave different disciplines and life experiences about areas of growing importance to 21st century urbanism and ecological sustainability. Clare promotes healthy, inclusive and just cities by championing practical wisdom about how we plan for community governance in smaller and larger cities; learn to disagree and live harmoniously in multi-lot housing; and manage competing political and environmental demands towards a sustainable beekeeping industry. Clare is a registered Bee-keeper and qualified Queen Bee breeder, and involved in commercial beekeeping and research via the Honey Bee Products Cooperative Research Centre, based at UWA


Session 3: Multi-species perspectives, approaches and methods

3.1. ReconceptualisingMoss in the Metropolis
Alison Haynes (Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, University of Wollongong)

Discussion Questions:  

  1. Does size matter?
  2. What does a moss ‘home’ look like?
  3. With the forest gone, what’s a city like for a moss?

Moss in the Metropolis: Mosses, the tiny plants that colonised the land over 400 million years ago, live in numerous habitats, from freezing deserts to steaming rainforests. What’s it like for them when these natural environments are replaced by roads and buildings in the process of urbanisation?

Life becomes hotter, drier and brighter; it might be polluted by vehicle fumes or industry output; neighbours are fewer and further away (ie populations are fragmented). The microhabitat is revolutionised and with it the microclimate – all in all, it’s a stressful place to be.

The good news is that a city offers numerous small niches where conditions are just good enough for moss to develop. This might be a pavement crack, or a shaded wall, or the edge of a sports field where the grass doesn’t grow.

My work seeks to understand the processes that allow certain moss species to survive city life, while others struggle. Is it because of preferences for substrates and microhabitats on offer; or does their biochemistry and physiology better equip them to cope with the multiple stresses that characterise the urban experience?

I’m investigating the niches that moss exploits in urban areas with several experiments in both field and lab, for instance on the impact of air quality on photosynthesis. One of the moss ‘tricks’ is desiccation tolerance, the ability to shut down all metabolic processes – or dry without dying, but how does pollution, or excessive light interfere with this ability?

Although they might be stressed, pushed out to the edges, and even stunted by city life, moss shows its resilience as a coloniser and pioneer and holds on, allowing us to witness a little of the wild in the urban. Moss might be overlooked, but let’s remember that small things are important, useful, interesting and beautiful. As part of the living skin of the earth called a biocrust, moss helps hold water, prevents soil erosion, cycles nitrogen and carbon and traps dust. Moss has great potential for applications like stormwater management, control of particulate matter and better plant survival on green roofs. Take a closer look. Biodiversity is biodiversity, no matter how small.

Alison Haynes: is a PhD candidate in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Wollongong, NSW. Her research combines ecology and physiology to understand the drivers of urban plant diversity, focussing on moss. She has a degree in conservation biology (Hons I) and investigated the conservation genetics of a rare, fire sensitive plant for her Honours project. She regularly helps out in animal studies and teaches across a range of biology and earth science subjects, from genetics to GIS. Originally from the UK, she is a second career scientist, and previously worked as a writer and editor in magazine and book publishing after degrees in English and French Law at the universities of London and Paris. She’s written numerous books, enjoys writing about science and likes to take her own photographs for use in communication.

3.2 PraxisSound
Micheal Norris (sound artist)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Can we understand the grammar and semantics of animal calls well enough to recreate them or decode them, and if so, what helpful messages could we communicate back to non-humans?
  2. Can contact with animal automata and species-inclusive communications media affect people’s attitude to real animals, and if so, what role can these technologies play in untaming the urban?
  3. Where does thinking from the animal’s point of view lead for an artist or designer?

Animal Perceptions from a Sound Design Perspective: In my sound art installations I synthesise non-repeating sounds in real time, often creating animal sounds in an interactive context. Historically, artificial animal sounds have been created mechanically, such as by complex clockwork systems in Victorian automata. Animal sounds can be synthesised in software either by sequencing short recorded samples, or by analysing the animal’s call, studying the physics of its production and algorithmically re-synthesising it. The results can only be as realistic as the artist’s understanding of the structure of the call allows. The limited realism of synthesised animal calls may not be noticed in the context of an art work, but leaves us far from being able to communicate with animals.

In some artistic contexts realism is not the goal. Imaginary animal sounds can be created by randomly choosing parameters for an algorithmic synthesis system, and non-animal sounds can be processed to sound like animals. For example, seismic recordings can be sped up to make a sound like frogs.

The role of the human listener in interactive sound works can be: as a witness to virtual animal conversations, having some physical influence on the animals, as a peer in conversation with a virtual animal, or talking via the virtual animal to real animals. My interactive bird pictures have been popular with humans wherever they were installed, though not popular with magpies who brutally attacked a dummy magpie in my backyard when it made magpie calls.

These art works sit somewhere in the long history of animal automata and open some interesting questions.

Michael Norris: is a sound artist with broad experience in sound creation and perception. His PhD thesis (2001) was on computational modelling of psycho-acoustics, and as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience in Plymouth, UK he investigated neural representation of sound textures. After working in speech recognition and audio forensics at the University of Canberra he began creating interactive sound art works and has exhibited them at galleries and conferences in Australia, including ICAD 2016 (Auditory Display) Canberra, MOP gallery Sydney 2015, and the 2018 Ecoacoustics Congress, Brisbane.

 

3.3. Futures – A Novel Methodological Approach
Sarah Robertson (Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the role of methods in destabilising and reconfiguring ‘human’ experiences and practices in cities?
  2. What are other more-than-human methods used across the different disciplines and what role do they play in articulating these alternate experiences in urban realms’?
  3. How can more-than-human methods help us re-imagine urban futures?

Meandering through place: a novel methodological approach to rendering (‘human’) more-than-human experience: This presentation offers a novel methodological approach emerging from human geography and social sciences more broadly to explore human place experiences within more-than-human (urban) realms. Social scientists have advanced research on human experiences of place using visual and dynamic methods, such as photovoice, walking and stories. However, what do these methods look like when place experiences are framed in more-than-human terms? This presentation focuses on the tricky terrain of research into more-than-human cities as an inevitably human endeavour. Drawing on post-phenomenological, more-than-human and non-representational ideas, I suggest that elements of all the visual and active methods mentioned above can help to enliven and articulate the human-nonhuman relationships at play in cities.

However, methods are merely part of the process of the (re)presentation or rendering of human and nonhuman lived experiences in cities. Beyond methods for collecting data, we also need to reconsider the analytical and (re)presentational approaches of social science. It is argued that one helpful approach is to present human participant accounts with images and poetic-like narrative prose alongside critical analysis of these more-than-human place experiences. The presentation discusses an example of how this analysis and articulation could help researchers, city-makers and dwellers reimagine the present and future of cities in more participatory more-than-human ways.

 


Workshop 1

Stories of Difference: On Living with Others in Future Cities – Stanislav Roudavski, Alexander Holland, Julian Rutten (University of Melbourne)

This workshop will seek to develop concrete visions of untamed cities by following possible shared-life scenarios of heterogenous stakeholders, human and nonhuman. The participants will be asked to create plausible and evocative narratives describing such life scenarios in mock design sessions that will prototype possible stakeholder interactions at concrete urban sites. The participants will be invited to use their expertise to sketch desirable situations, articulate their benefits, support these articulations with some persuasive evidence, outline the conditions necessary for the attainment of resulting descriptions and plot courses of action that can lead to the defined targets. Possible scenarios will be attempted at a range of time scales and resolutions. The models for the desired situations can be drawn from unfamiliar local examples in the pasts, presents or likely futures; across a range of time scales, resolutions and impacts.

Objectives of the workshop:

  • expose and question prevalent worldviews and horizons of imagination;
  • expand the set of imaginable futures;
  • encourage creative thinking about future inter-species cultures;
  • concretize the implications of ideas about the future for concrete stakeholders;
  • encourage relational and multi-generational analysis of scenarios;
  • promote inclusive analysis of implications; and
  • capture recommendations for reporting and future use.

Preliminary program:

  • introduction to future studies and speculative design;
  • introduction to inter-species cultures and environmental/ecological justice;
  • introduction to place and participation;
  • discussion of existing story samples;
  • role and target discussion and assignment;
  • scenario development;
    • identification of key story elements;
    • assembly of story elements in plausible futures;
    • testing of futures through the shared lives of concrete actors;
  • scenario enactment and discussion;

 

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