Note — Feb 09, 2020

What I Mean when I Talk About More-than-Human Design

Seen in → No.112

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I really need to spend more time reading up on Anne Galloway’s work. She focuses on more-than-human design and in this short post, gives some excellent insights into how this places her reflection, research, and work in the world. I come back time and again to the idea of shifting perspectives, looking at things from a slightly different angle, this is a career-spanning example of taking an innovative point of view on the world.

While some excellent design/researchers use the phrase “more than human” to refer to a range of technologies, my interests remain in the multispecies or environmental realm. This doesn’t mean that technology is irrelevant; it’s important for me to assess the political and ethical implications of any technology that attempts to mediate human relations with other forms of life. […]

Agriculture is also one of humanity’s most heavily designed activities, which should remind us that it can be re-designed, and needs to be re-designed when it stops working for all of us. […]

The ethos of the More-Than-Human Lab draws on Donna Haraway’s “staying with the trouble” and tries to go beyond the design of human-nonhuman interactions to reimagine human-nonhuman relations. For me, this means not trying to “fix” the world, and resisting both purity and progress to live well together through uncertain and difficult circumstances. […]

In dire times it may be tempting to conjure all too familiar utopias and dystopias, but I’m interested in reconnecting with violence, suffering, decay and death as part of life, entangled with all the love, beauty, and wonder.