Ecological Speculations - Narratives for the Futures
We are currently experiencing a global redistribution of life on Earth with species shifting their habitats in response to climate change. This creates novel species interactions, as species that have evolved in isolation from one another come into contact for the first time (’first encounters’). Envisioning possible impacts in ecosystems, this talk discusses how speculative design projects explore this state of liminality through the generation of future scenarios.
In an increasingly complex world, understanding planetary inter-species dependencies and anticipating futures will be key to developing ways of living together on this planet, as a multi-species society. In this process, the craft of speculation serves as an axis to explore potential futures, since other futures become possible as soon as they become imaginable. Working with a spectrum of possible futures rather than predicting one singular path ahead aims at developing ways of living in a rapidly changing, connected world and how to navigate uncertainty.
Combining “Anticipatory Ecology“ with “Speculative Design“, three of my recent works will be featured in this talk: the immersive walk-in installation First Encounters, the digital platform The Encounters Lab, and the interactive exhibition Turning the Ecological Gears. Investigating cascading ecological effects, these projects unravel complexity in interactive immersive installation settings. Transforming empirical facts into emotional realities through visual storytelling makes scientific research tangible and accessible to a non-scientific audience. Exploring multiple possible futures by highlighting the entanglements between natural and human systems communicates views on ecological responsibility and conveys a sense of agency.