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It matters what designs design designs: speculations on multispecies worlding

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  • 1 Malmö University, , Sweden
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Critical contemporary discourses on extinction, climate change and planetary boundaries are needed to counter and reject our current ways of living on this planet. But they often end badly. Therefore, we also need to tell the stories that create openings and generate more desirable alternatives. This paper contributes to the effort of resituating design as less anthropocentric and much more of a multispecies affair. Following scholars such as Donna Haraway, Timothy Morton, Anna Tsing and John Law, this text does so by unpacking the notion of ‘multispecies worlding’ for speculative design practices that involve other living entities. By carrying multiplicities into design processes and rethinking how other species can become a more deliberate part of our (re)worlding efforts, this text articulates the importance of advancing decolonial design aims to generate interspecies harmonies rather than reinforcing oppressive relations. The annotated illustrations and examples of multispecies design projects that appear in this paper involve an additional effort in identifying ‘big-enough’ stories and already existing multispecies design speculations. As such, this work offers merely one collection of enactments that can allow further worlding and further design work. Such a repertoire of speculative multispecies design work can thereby knot together different realities, from different actors, that can propose and embody other kinds of worlding relations between species. They thereby slowly but steadily break down existing grand narratives that seem all-explanatory to speculate about different ways in which humans and other species already make worlds together.

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