Design meets Evolutionary Ecology

Balancing (a)synchronies of ecological interactions


Design meets Evolutionary Ecology

Designing Temporal Ecologies started as a NERC-funded partnership between Design, Environmental Humanities and Evolutionary Ecology researchers at the University of Edinburgh. Led by Larissa Pschetz, in collaboration with Ally Phillimore and Michelle Bastian, the project looked at the role of design to surface, represent and imagine alternatives for increasing (a)synchronies in species interactions. Maike Gebker and Susanne Wieland were the two main designers working on the project, developing several concepts in conversation with Ally’s and Michelle’s teams. As part of the project we also organised an interdisciplinary workshop with exciting outcomes. Read more.

Burn the Beetle: Envisioning a frost festival

Image Credits @dilja96/unsplash


As part of this project we organised an interdisciplinary workshop that brought together designers, environmental humanities researchers and biologists to discuss and look for ways to reveal, represent and reimagine the effects of climate and biodiversity changes on the rhythms, evolution, and interconnectedness of multiple species. The teams came up with 4 different concepts represented by: an envisioned frost festival “Burn the Beetle”, a discussion on Climate Change, Glaciology, and the Politics of Oil Trade, a proposal to rethink time based on Connected Soil Zones, and a Flower Clock.


Connected Soil Zones

Image credits @dilja96/unsplash


For two months, designers Susanne Wieland and Maike Gebker were embedded in the Evolutionary Ecology group led by Ally Phillimore at the University of Edinburgh. Advised by Larissa Pschetz and Michelle Bastian, they looked at the potential for design to engage with phenology research and methods, exploring methods to visualise phenology data, and translate key environmental issues into speculative and participatory concepts. Read more about the process. 


Credits Susanne Wieland & Maike Gebker


As part of the workshop, we collected several references on different themes related to Designing Temporal Ecologies. Please feel free to contribute too. 

Climate Change, Glaciology, and the Politics of Oil Trade

Image Credits @xavibalderas/unsplash

Flower Clock

Image creditsWoodland Trust

Reflective Stone

Credits Susanne Wieland & Maike Gebker

Visualising Interactions

Credits Susanne Wieland & Maike Gebker
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