What could our world look like if we decentred humans and designed for all life?
We Are Biological
Atelier Some Kind of Nature is a space to redefine our engagement with the environment, where diverse actors are given agency. Highlighting the needs of more-than-humans focusses our attention on solutions that place biodiversity and climate concerns at the at the heart of our creative processes. Traditionally, built environment disciplines are human-centric, but we take a post-human position and use Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of polyphony as a framework to question human dominance. By de-centering humans we act in humanity’s best interests. We are, after all, biological too.
A singular focus on carbon won’t remedy the wicked problems of the climate and biodiversity emergency. Multiple knowledges are required to address the built environment. Interdisciplinarity is at the core of our team and approach; SKN staff are architects, landscape architects, and social scientists. SKN is for students of architecture and landscape architecture; our final year masters’ students can work in interdisciplinary collaboration. Across all cohorts in our atelier (BA3, MArch 1, MArch 2 and MLA2) we run a range of workshops led by experts in related fields, and our scholars engage in regular peer-peer interaction. This inclusive discursive space stimulates critical engagement with strategies which might include: nature-based solutions, adaptive pathways, rewilding, scenario planning, degrowth, circular economies and more.
Our approach to technology reflects entanglement in highly uncertain future worlds. Technological ‘success’ is dependent on other actors, scales and time. The SKN technological style adopts a creative, contextual approach according to the following principles:
- low-tech, repairable, simple systems
- minimising site disturbance, maximising vegetation and biodiversity gain
- low embodied and operational energy
- recycled, reused, locally sourced, natural materials
- efficient scale and form of intervention
- minimising unsustainable or polluting materials