Favouring and enabling relations between people and nature

These projects have a qualitative orientation towards a new relationship between humans and nature. In this endeavour, the I-You relation (as a new way to relates to nature) emerges.  In Buber’s words: “I contemplate a tree. I can accept it as a picture … I can feel it as movement… I can assign it to a species and observe it as an instance… I can dissolve it into a number, into a pure relation between numbers, and eternalise it. Throughout all of this, the tree remains my object and has its place and its time span, its kind and condition. But it can also happen… I contemplate the tree I am drawn into a relation, and the tree ceases to be an It. The power of exclusiveness has seized me.” (Buber, 1947).

Proposed projects

  1. Project Who is social? …Beyond Anthropocentric Social Innovation (Canada – Emily Carr University of Art + Design DESIS Lab) (exhibit design project is for children to gain knowledge of ocean studies and to rethink their relationships with marine animals)
  2. Project Closer to Nature. Interactive Systems for Seniors with Dementia in Long-term Care (TU/Eindhoven – DESIS Lab) (engages seniors with dementia in relaxing nature experience through multi-sensory stimulation and rich interactions)
  3. Project Life without Plastics (Canada – Emily Carr University of Art + Design DESIS Lab) (the project question our relationship with single-use plastics through a series of experiments and experiences)

Type of project

Projects that enhance individuals’ relationship with nature and heighten their psychological well-being levels. It includes educational processes to increase awareness of unsustainable everyday habits. The main aim is to nurture an I-You relation between humans and plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.

Open questions

  1. How can we design favourable environments for people to reconnect with nature?
  2. How can design schools foster in students respectful and sensitive interactions with nature?