Lauren Davies

Designer / Researcher - Arup

Natural Engagement: What if designers considered nature as a key stakeholder? [Panel Talk]

From products and technology, to cities and infrastructure, human-centred design (sometimes) plays a key role in placing the needs and desires of the human user at the centre of design projects. This approach, however, systemically places us (humans) above the needs of others (non-humans), perpetuating the idea that we are above or separate to nature. In this talk, Lauren explores what might happen if designers expanded human-centred design to a more-than-human centred practice, considering nature as a key, albeit voiceless, stakeholder.

Note this talk will be part of the More-than-Human Design panel running between 1:40-2:40pm in room B104

About the speaker:

Lauren Davies is a designer and researcher in Arup’s Global Foresight team. Previously working as a lecturer in Design practice, she holds a BA(Hons) and MA in Design from Goldsmiths, University of London. As a critically engaged designer, her practice uses and develops design methods for visioning possible futures in the context of the current ecological crisis. This became her area of focus after moving from rural Cornwall to London and being shocked by the experience of non-humans in a city context. Lauren’s current focus is exploring how design-led foresight methods, such as visioning and speculative design, can ‘build worlds’ that elicit feelings and discussions about preferred futures.

About the More-than-Human Design panel

This panel on More-than-Human Design will include short presentations from four speakers who focus on moving beyond human-centered perspectives in their work, as part of a response to ecological concerns. From academia, to industry and art practice, speakers will present different projects that show the diversity of possibilities for more-than-human design in different contexts. Following the presentations there will be a panel discussion to further probe the different methods for more-than-human design, and explore some of the limitations, challenges and opportunities of more-than-human approaches in practice.