A More-Than-Human Architecture

Format: Papers, RSD12

Puli Li, Pille Bunnell, and Claudia Westermann

The presentation explores the relationship between human awareness and natural order in the complex, interwoven systems around us, and how aesthetic awareness emerges out of this relationship. We propose that the human sense of beauty arose in the context of our embeddedness in nature and is thus grounded in the forms of nature. However, in our daily lives, we have become disconnected from the natural world and have thus lost the opportunity for re-invigorating a sense of the aesthetic. Based on a studio project, the presentation explores how nature could be reintroduced into people’s urban living spaces, recreating a sense of connection that is interwoven with our consciousness. The project explores the possibility of stimulating human perception and creating new stories at the intersection of architecture and nature.

This presentation is part of the Ecopoetic Formations for Transgenerational Collaboration scheme for which four junior designers were paired with four senior members of the American Society for Cybernetics. The scheme was initiated in July 2023. It aims to provide the junior designers with an introduction to the relationship between systems thinking and design and to assist them in developing aspects of their existing graduation projects by integrating systems concepts and systemic design principles.

This presentation begins with an overview of the undergraduate design project and an associated essay by Puli Li (junior collaborator) on the order of nature, which serves as a basis for the collaboration with Pille Bunnell (senior collaborator). Following this introduction, the presentation reports on the ideas, designs and thoughts that have arisen through their collaboration from July onwards. As the transgenerational collaboration meetings have just begun, the main body of the submitted document comprises the essay as originally developed by the junior collaborator.

This papers is in production. RSD12 proceedings April 2024.

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Citation Data

Author(s): Puli Li, Pille Bunnell and Claudia Westermann
Year: 2023
Title: A More-Than-Human Architecture
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 10 November 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested citation format (APA)

Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

Publishing with RSD

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design are published online and include the contributions for each format.

Papers and presentations are entered into a single-blind peer-review process, meaning reviewers see the authors’ names but not vice versa. Reviewers consider the quality of the proposed contribution and whether it addresses topics of interest or raises relevant issues in systemic design. The review process provides feedback and possible suggestions for modifications.

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Editor: Cheryl May
Peter Jones
Ben Sweeting

The Scholars Spiral

In 2022, the Systemic Design Association adopted the scholars spiral—a cyclic non-hierarchical approach to advance scholarship—and in 2023, launched Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal. Together, the RSD symposia and Contexts support the vital emergence of supportive opportunities for scholars and practitioners to publish work in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design.

The Systemic Design Association's membership ethos is to co-create the socialization and support for all members to contribute their work, find feedback and collaboration where needed, and pursue their pathways toward research and practice outcomes that naturally build a vital design field for the future.


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