Are the objects of design be human only? What if your client was non-human species? What are its preference? Two examples blow are worth highlighted.
The More-Than-Human Lab is based in the School of Design at Victoria University of Wellington, launched by Dr Anne Galloway.
Anne’s research examines intersections of people, nonhuman animals and technologies, and explores creative methods for public engagement around related matters of concern. Meanwhile, in order to study, she raised many animals in the rural area.
Her goal is to increase public participation in the environment, science, major industries and governance issues. Moving beyond human-centred design and anthropocentric, finding ways to challenge technological solutionism, and decolonise design research and practice.(Anon, 2017)
Such a movement require relearning how to do research “without the tools of human exceptionalism” (Harvey, 2004) . The important objective of this study is to exploring the possible unlimited potential of more-than human projects as well as a successful new affinity between human, other species and technology in a “more-than-human world”.
The second example is named “Bird City In The Tree Of Heaven”. Quote from their website:
To reflect on the ecology and the biodiversity of two sites on opposite sides of London, art and research collective London Fieldworks built a sculptural installation in a two trees in the city. ‘Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven’ consists of several hundred bespoke bird boxes mounted in two trees, resulting in a true urban bird village in the middle of London.
Its creators explain that ‘Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven’ developed out of the Super Kingdom project, a program in which ‘show homes’ for animals were constructed based on the architecture of despot’s palaces. Explain Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson of London Fieldworks, “Super Kingdom can be viewed as a social engineering experiment for animals — a new community in the making referencing despot’s palaces, gated community developments such as Alphaville in Brazil and the fortified exclusivity afforded to the wealthy and super-rich — all designed to keep urban reality at bay”. For this occasion they built a bird village in King’s Wood that was inspired by Mussolini’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. (Mills, 2017)
Therefore, the ideas of human, non-human animals and technique are intertwined. When we talking about non-human design, we are actually talking about the relationship between human, non-human objects and nature or technologies, which based on anthropocene. Not only do we treat non-human object as our subject investigated, but also who we collaborated with. This view is intrinsically connected with the idea of Ecological Postmodernism, an argument with David Abram in《Becoming Animal 》”How monotonous our speaking becomes when we speak only to ourselves! And how insulting to the other beings…that no longer sense us talking to them, but only about them, as though they were not present in our world . . . For we talk about such entities only behind their backs, as though they were not participant in our lives. Yet if we no longer call out…then the numerous powers of this world will no longer address us – and if they still try, we will not likely hear them.” (Abram, D. 2010)
There is a wide range of non-human species we share the plante with, we should realize that the life of them is as valuable as ours, a more equal and more intimate relationship with nature should be established. Only in this way can we eliminate some of the damage caused by our pervasive anthropocentrism.