The Architecture of Multispecies Cohabitation

Image: Still from Grey Gardens. Directed by Albert Maysles and David Maysles. 1975.
Image: Still from Grey Gardens. Directed by Albert Maysles and David Maysles. 1975.
Thursday 22 April - Friday 4 June 2021

This event has passed


Tin Sheds, 148 City Road, Darlington



Feral Partnerships
Tin Sheds Gallery
Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney
Culture and Animals Foundation

Carp as kitchen helpers. Shadehouses designed to host guests amidst ferns. Farmhouses where the cattle live downstairs. Decorative dovecotes for the harvest of nutrient-rich fertilisers. Enormous cylindrical towers for human remains to be devoured by vultures…

The Architecture of Multispecies Cohabitation presents ongoing research by Feral Partnerships (Beth Fisher Levine, Matthew Darmour-Paul, James Powell, Enrico Brondelli di Brondello, Francesca Rausa) of surprising and hopeful stories of human and other-than-human interdependence, facilitated by the architectures that host them. In the context of anthropogenic global warming and the accelerating extinction of species, the exhibition draws from historical precedents in order to inspire new possibilities for building worlds with the other-than-human in mind.

Architects, developers and planners find themselves ever more at the intersection of contested natures. The politics of crisis and the (many) anthropocene(s) have intensified the responsibilities of design and planning towards mitigating climate change and protecting biodiversity. Yet for all the successful disciplinary rallying behind technological solutions to climate breakdown – such as low-carbon building services or clean energy consumption – architecture as a profession has yet to meaningfully address its ongoing role in biodiversity loss.

In its content and accompanying events series, The Architecture of Multispecies Cohabitation invites reflection on these issues of contemporary architecture. How might we design and live in ways that are more generous to other species, and that recognise our interdependence with them? What might result if political ecology, biology and ethology were allowed to contaminate the disciplinary boundaries of architecture? How might novel forms of commitment emerge between humans and other species, and how might these be enshrined in protocols, participatory processes and practice?

The Architecture of Multispecies Cohabitation offers a platform for difficult discussions around the many nonhuman lives that make human life possible, what is at stake in the continued production of spatial separation between species while piecing together an alternative and joyful constellation of meaningful references for designers.