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11. Implications and Applications

More Than Human Design

Summary of points after Miroboard conversation with Clara Acioli:
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How Might We. . .

  • Design a 3d space that includes other species to repair interspecies relationships?
  • Understand and listen to other species without a common langauge?
  • Include other species in the design process so they can benefit from the system or the product?
  • Create products or systems that simultaniously repair the ecosystem?
  • Alter our senses to percive things from another species perspective?
  • Reduce other species and environmental harm in textile production by prioritizing their comfort?
  • Include compost systems to recycle nutrients?
  • Respectfully promote and adopt indigenous ideas of symbotic relationships and animate nature?

Post-humanism Design by Laura Forlano

Recent developments surrounding the environmental and socio-technical (AI, biotechnology, animal rights cases, etc.) "blur the boundaries between the familiar binaries of human and nonhuman, culture and nature, and human and animal that have dominated Western thinking since at least the Enlightenment. . . The hybrid figure of the posthuman—and related concepts, such as the nonhuman, the multispecies, the anthropocene, the more than human, the transhuman and the decentering of the human—greatly expands our understandings of the multiple agencies dependencies, entanglements, and relations that make up our world."

The article posits these questions as posthuman topics to consider in design:

  1. Who or what human/nonhuman, human/animal, individual/organizational/network are the user(s), and for whom or what should the design be desirable?
  2. How, and in what ways competitively/collaboratively, hierarchically/horizontally are capabilities, agency, and power distributed across human, machines, and natural systems?
  3. What new knowledge(s), questions, stakeholders, and partnerships are needed in order to adequately design for this problem?
  4. How are ethics, values, and responsibilities reflected and embedded throughout the design process?

The Singularity - the “transitional human,” or the time when humans will transcend our biology through technology, including biotechnological and computational enhancement.
(OOO) Object-Oriented Ontology - a 21st-century Heidegger-influenced school of thought that rejects the privileging of human existence over the existence of nonhuman objects. Concerned with the real and sensual qualities and aesthetics of objects.
(ANT) Actor-Network Theory - a theoretical and methodological approach to social theory where everything in the social and natural worlds exists in constantly shifting networks of relationships. It posits that nothing exists outside those relationships.
Feminist New Materialisms - new materialist thinking states ‘matter’ is fundamentally multiple, self-organizing, dynamic and inventive, moving between nature and culture, the animated and automated, bodies and environments. The ‘feminist’ title highlights power relations, politics and ethics in non-dualistic and potentially affirmative ways.

Critiques on Posthumanism and the importance of an intersectional view:
"it is essential to acknowledge that like humanism, the post-human—while it makes room for multiple subjectivities—may not serve those that have been traditionally been excluded, such as women, people of color, LGBTQ communities, people with disabilities, indigenous communities, migrants, and people of diverse ethnicities and nationalities in all regions of the world. As such, it is important to ask how emergent design practices, including those that might decenter the human, might simultaneously support equality and justice for humans and nonhumans alike."

Beyond Sustainability - Designing Regenerative Cultures by ​Daniel Christian Wahl

"We need to ask the deeper question of why we are worth sustaining. . . We need to reflect on how we will have to change individually and collectively to create this future. . . We need a collective narrative about who we are and why we are worth sustaining, a shared story powerful enough to keep us all innovative, creative and collaborative as we question into the what, how, when and where. . .How can we collaborate in the creation of diverse regenerative cultures adapted to the unique biocultural conditions of place? How can we create conditions conducive to life?"

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Shimmer: When all you love is being trashed by ​Deborah Rose Bird

"For philosopher Isabelle Stengers, "reciprocal capture" is "an event, the production of new, immanent modes of existence" in which neither entity transcends the other or forces the other to bow down. It is a process of encounter and transformation, not absorption, in which different ways of being and doing find interesting things to do together."

"The term [bir'yun] - which does not distinguish between domains of nature and culture - is characteristic of a lively pulsating world, not a mechanistic one. Bir'yun shows us that the world is not composed of gears and cogs but of multifaceted, multispecies relations and pulses. To act as if the world beyond humans is composed of "things" for human use is a catastrophic assault on the diversity, complexity, abundance, and beauty of life."

"So care is an ethical response involving tenderness, generosity, and compassion, and care is an ongoing assumption of responsibility in the face of continuing violence and peril. Pulses of harm and care offer a peculiarly telling story of the Anthropocene, highlighting multispecies entanglements, conflicting ways of being human, mass death, and, through it all, as I discuss later, a great and joyful desire for life"

[Bir'yun] a Yolngu, Indigenous Australian term, translates as "brilliant" or "shimmering"

Interspecies Internet Lectures

How can artificial intelligence and biotechnlogy be used to allow us to communicate with other species? Interspecies Internet is an ongoing project to make this a possibility. Their mission is:

“Harnessing technology to facilitate communication with other animals and helping us decode the myriad forms of communication used by other species is a challenge that both befits humanity and benefits us in the long run.”

Slide Show


Last update: 2023-01-11