Design Ethnography in the Anthropocene

It’s the second week of winter trimester, and I’m teaching my second-year undergraduate course in Design Ethnography. The theme this year is the Anthropocene, or how design relates to people’s relationships with animals, plants, the Earth’s elements, and “natural” materials in an era defined by humanity’s impact on the planet. In this course, students learn […]

New Zealand forest birds

Posted on Jul 5, 2015 in Animals & Plants & Stuff

“New Zealand’s forests were once filled with birds and their clamour: melodious songs, squawks, whirrs, squeaks, buzzing and chattering. These are the sounds of birds finding food, defending territory, attracting mates or guarding chicks.” – Christina Troup For the past couple of weeks, a black fantail has been flitting around the sheep. Black fantails are […]

Exporting livestock

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 in Animals & Plants & Stuff, Everyday Life

I recently wrote an Op Ed piece on government and industry failure to adequately communicate with New Zealanders about live export. It was published in the Dominion Post, and I think the comments may be more interesting than the piece I wrote. I also got a few positive comments via Twitter:   Public engagement is […]

Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si

Posted on Jun 18, 2015 in Animals & Plants & Stuff, Everyday Life

Pope Francis’ encyclical, released today, has been the most anticipated papal encyclical in decades. I’ll return to it soon, but for now I’ve copied an excerpt below. It really is an exceptional position on capitalism and the environment. “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. […]

Pt I, Companion animals (and belonging)

Posted on Jun 18, 2015 in Animals & Plants & Stuff

I’ve started pulling together my paper for the Losing Ground – Gaining Ground session at the RGS Conference in Exeter in September, where I’ll be presenting on what it means to belong in the valley in which I live. Part of this involves sorting [Edit: casual (iPhone)] photos I’ve taken of the plants, animals and […]

Who owns the monkey selfie?

All of my students from the past few years will recognise this macacque selfie because I use it in my intro lectures and, frankly, pull it out every chance I get simply because I love it. But fellow explorer amongst the more-than-human, Michelle Bastian sent along a story this morning that made it even more […]

Jubilate Agno, Fragment B, [For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]

Posted on Aug 2, 2014 in Animals & Plants & Stuff, Everyday Life

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry. For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him. For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way. For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness. For then […]

On dogs and design ethnography

My colleague Sarah Baker and I are heading up the School of Design‘s new postgraduate Design Ethnography research stream, and we gave a brief presentation this week to new students. When I was searching for less obvious examples of this kind of work, I came across a lovely project by Malavika Reddy and Taylor Lowe. The […]

Counting Sheep speculative design ethnography research

We’re very excited to launch the website for our Counting Sheep design scenario research, starting with three speculative design ethnography projects, and more on the way: BoneKnitter (Anne Galloway & Dani Clode) The BoneKnitter is a dream for slow technology that honours New Zealand’s natural environment and pays tribute to generations of Māori and Pākehā […]

On being attached, caring for animals and humble technologies

The longer I study relations amongst people, animals and technologies, the more I return to notions and practices of caring. Interests are staked in quantities and qualities of caring, and many social and ethical issues arise as matters of caring too much or too little. In Latour’s recent book, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence, […]