Given the current climate and biodiversity crisis, SKN asks what would our world look like if we decentered humans from the design process? Atelier Some Kind of Nature aims to redefine our engagement with the environment as a multi-voiced narrative, where diverse actors – both human and non-human - are given agency. Interdisciplinarity is at the core of our team and approach (social science, landscape, and architecture). We extend that collaborative ethos to more-than-human actors.
We take a post-human position and use Mikhail Bakhtin's notion of polyphony as a framework to question humanity's dominant position on Earth, and more broadly, we reject Western thought tradition privileging singular subject over relationships. Following Donna Haraway, the atelier recognises the complex and ever-changing nature of the entangled world, making space for a post-human perspective full of complexity, interdependency, and cooperation.
The atelier rejects simplistic binary distinctions to engage with a diverse set of disciplines and engage in inclusive discourse on the built environment. This inclusive discursive space stimulates critical engagement with contemporary discourses around climate crisis (rewilding, the Anthropocene, Capitalocene, degrowth, low-tech, lo-tek, and more).
This year, we focused on territory around Stockport, approximately 6 miles south of Manchester City Centre, embracing the river Mersey, and engaging with the post-industrial heritage of the city. As a studio, we considered the following question as a start of our explorations: How can we reimagine urban environment as an inclusive space for humans and non-humans to thrive?