Nature as Stakeholder

User focus group interviews in nature, if only it was this easy... image by "Mundo"

Continuing the discussion around Genius of Place, a couple of different conversations have recently raised some ideas to bounce around.

Biomimicry with nature as only a source of inspiration does not guarantee “sustainability”. I’ve already discussed that here. Nature must be a stakeholder in the project, recognized as an entity with needs that must be met and designed for within the project. As a designer, this language opens up tangible paths, as every discipline of designers has a suite of tools for understanding the array of stakeholders, from users, to decision makers, to influencers, and everything in between. This then opens an intriguing question; “How to evolve existing methods so that they can be used on a different species?”

What would a focus group look like from nature? Ecosystem focus group studies to understand the impact of a building?

How do you “interview” the organisms who may be the end users of your site, manufacturing process, or shipping network?

How do you capture and communicate those needs as design opportunities and design criteria?

Shifting design tools away from human centrism

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