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Marie Davidová

with panellists Shany Barath, Susannah Dickinson, Liss C. Werner

This panel discussed the transition towards post-Anthropocene, where humans and other beings live together in synergy. These other beings are other than the human species, non-living nature, or individuals such as artificial intelligence or robots. They speculated on how one might transform our cities into synergy with the above-discussed beings.

Urban habitats are critical to survival, not only for humans. They are located on critical migration paths as well as for many species; they offer the only possible homes as the agricultural land becomes toxic by pesticides, herbicides, etc. The panellists point out that humans are part of the overall ecosystem; however, the recent human social systems don’t often reflect it. Therefore, we are facing Anthropocene extinction when many other than the human species are going extinct. Panellists agreed that to achieve social justice; we also have to reach environmental justice and become in synergy with the planet, with Gaia.

Within the panel, several case studies were discussed about biodiversity support. These were mainly from education and research. Further on, there was discussed the trichotomy of education, research and practice. The discussion continued by suggesting that architects must leave their traditional role of “designing nice buildings” and follow the current society’s new technology trends.

KEYWORDS: more-than-human, systemic design, urban biodiversity support, gaia, planetary health


Marie Davidová is an Independent Junior Research Group Leader at Cluster of Excellence IntCDC, University of Stuttgart. Marie is a founding member and chair of Collaborative Collective practice design-research network NGO, a founding and board member of Systemic Design Association and a founding member and auditor of Creative Systemic Research Platform Institute. She is a practising architect registered in Norway, researcher and educator. Marie founded the Systemic Approach to Architectural Performance (SAAP) research by codesign field. SAAP is a fusion of process-based fields formally initiated by the integration of Systems Oriented Design and Performance-Oriented Architecture. It develops methodology and generates theory through experimental practice. SAAP involves Time Based EcoSystemic TransDisciplinary CoDesign performed by biotic and abiotic agents, including humans. It belongs to the broader field of Systemic Design, considering the overall ecosystem. Marie has held guest lectures, presentations, and workshops in this field across Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania, where she is also widely published and exhibited.

Shany Barath is an architect, director of D.DLab (Disrupt. Design) research laboratory and assistant professor in the faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on data-driven computational design and digital materiality through the fabrication of and with materials towards real-world impact. Through her vast experience in practice gained in international markets and as the co-founder of Shaga Architects, she has led high-profile projects integrating computational methodologies with analysis and simulation engines across evaluation fields for design and manufacturing applications. She is Co-PI in the HORIZON2020 consortium ECOLOPES, developing building envelopes for multi-species habitation and PROTOHAB prototyping an Integrated Facade System (IFS) for Spontaneous Multi-Species Habitation. Focusing on projects that enable design to facilitate ecological and environmental urgencies, D.DLab develops additive manufacturing workflows with bio-based waste (plastics, wood) and biologically enhanced materials for the construction industry.

Shany received her degree in architecture from the TUDelft in the Netherlands and her postgraduate degree from the Design Research Laboratory at the Architectural Association (AA) in  London where she was later appointed Studio Master and directed the TLV international program. She previously practiced architecture in UNSTUDIO and WEST8. She is currently an expert advisor to; URBAN AI and Tidhar Construction Ltd.’s group for future technologies.

Susannah Dickinson is a practicing architect and an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, USA. Her practice background is in digital processes and digital fabrication, largely gained through a decade of professional experience in the offices of Frank O. Gehry, Los Angeles and SHoP Architects, New York. This technological background is coupled with the belief that it is our responsibility, as architects, to be concerned with the entire built and natural environment. Her research connects multi-scalar theories of biomimetics and complexity with digital processes and design pedagogy, with the goal of bringing more life and sustainability into the built environment. She has served on the board of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), and her design studio won the 2018 Architect Magazine Sloan Studio Prize. She has published widely, including in the International Journal of Architectural Research (IJAR), Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) and has co-edited a recent book, Critical Practices in Architecture: The Unexamined (2020) with a foreword by Jane Rendell.

Liss Christine Werner is a German architect. She draws from cybernetics in the discourse of architecture as socio-ecological systems between technology, human, and nature. Werner was educated in the UK and Australia and ran her own company Tactile Architecture for ten years. She founded the CyPhyLab for Cyberphysical Systems in architecture and urban Design at TU Berlin before acting as Professor of Bio-Inspired Architecture and Sensoric until 2021. Werner published widely, lectured internationally for 20 years at, e.g. MIT, Nottingham University or Innsbruck University and held several guest professorships. She is a member of the American Society of Cybernetics, an Independent Expert Evaluator for the European Commission, and a certified Professional Agile Leader. In September 2021, Liss Christine Werner transferred from academia to industry, serving the architecture, construction, and engineering sector as a Senior Consultant for Smart Buildings and Sustainability.

Marie Davidová

Shany Barath

Susannah Dickinson

Liss Christine Werner




Citation Data

Author(s): Marie Davidová
Year: 2022
Title: Cultural Environments with More-than-Human Perspectives
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 013
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 18 October 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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