Katie Scott MFA Collaborative Design Thesis 2020
NOTICING: Creative Practices for Becoming Entangled with the More-than-Human World
How we listen and pay attention to our surroundings has implications for what we think and value. Seeing, experiencing, or hearing the familiar from a different angle can open up possibilities for change. This project is a collaborative exploration of urban environments through listening—empirically and imaginatively—to our entangled relations with nature. Through intentionally designed conversations, invitations, and design interventions, I sought to learn how people notice and interact with nature in their everyday lives and to identify opportunities to shift awareness—using sound as a focus point. This exploratory research project included interviews, facilitated group listening activities, and participatory “listening doodles” that I collected in public spaces, as well as interviews with architects. This exploration culminated in a booklet of listening prompts designed for architects to reflect on sound, kinship with nature, and connection to specific places. These prompts could be used as part of each architect’s own creative practice, as a team building exercise, or to engage with a client on their project site. While the outcome of this project focused on architects, these practices could be applied to many other disciplines and contexts. Through a practice of listening—of paying attention to other species—we can begin to empathize with the more-than-human world. And perhaps, we can begin to imagine possibilities for other ways of living and structuring our societies.