Yarning Circle: The Architecture of Multispecies Cohabitation

Image by Kristian Laemmle-Ruff
Saturday 29 May 2021
3.00 - 5.00pm

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Gadigal Green, Maze Crescent, University of Sydney, Darlington



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

A yarn about creating homes for us all with YARN Australia

As planetary conditions become less hospitable, the need for all earth beings – human and more than human – to find ways of being at home, becomes both more urgent and more apparent. How might we transform the ways in which we think about, design, build and inhabit our homes so that they become more hospitable to all of those with whom we share our worlds? What, in turn, do we need to do to be more attentive to and respectful of the homes that more than human others provide and create around us, for themselves, for others and for us? How might Indigenous knowledges and practices of living on country inform and nourish this call?

In this yarn, hosted by YARN Australia, we invite people who design, craft, build, inhabit, cultivate and transform domestic and institutional, public and private, indoor and outdoor homes to reflect together on how we might create kinder and more generous forms of cohabitation. The yarn offers a space to acknowledge how many of our practices of building and living have shut out beings other than humans (and also many humans) and how they have failed to recognise their offerings of hospitality.

At the same time, the yarn is an invitation to share stories about how we people have, are or are trying to create home otherwise, and dream about what types of homes an expanded ‘we’ might start to make – homes hospitable to all of us. The evening will open with a cultural performance by Nulungu Dreaming followed by the Barayagal Choir, led by Nardi Simpson.

This event is part of The Architecture of Multispecies Cohabitation Festival hosted by Feral Partnerships, The University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning and The Sydney Environment Institute.


Warren Roberts is a proud Thunghutti and Bundjalung man and the founder of YARN Australia, an organisation with the goal of uniting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians through workshops and events held within safe and respectful spaces. He has extensive experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities having worked for NGO’s and universities, as well as local, state and federal government. Warren has been fortunate enough to work alongside esteemed elders from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, which has encouraged him to reflect on the importance of respecting cultural protocols.

Daniel Boyd is a Kudjala/Gangalu/Kuku-Yalanji/Waka Waka/Gubbi Gubbi/Wangerriburra/Bandjalung man from Far North Queensland and an artist who reinterprets Eurocentric perspectives of Australian history, often appropriating images that have played significant roles in the formation and dissemination of that history. His work has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2005 with commissions for the Australian War Memorial and becoming the first Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artist to receive the prestigious Bulgari Art Prize, administered by the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2014.

Caroline Pidcock is passionate about the importance of architecture and regenerative design, and how they can contribute to a “culturally rich, socially just and ecologically restorative” future. She has over 25 years of leading and contributing to a wide range of boards and organisations. In May 2021, she was jointly awarded the AIA 2021 Leadership in Sustainability Award. Her creative lateral thinking, hardworking nature, humour, and ability to positively engage with many people, make her an invaluable contributor to groups looking to the future.

Thom van Dooren is Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2017-2021) in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. His research and writing focus on some of the many philosophical, ethical, cultural, and political issues that arise in the context of species extinctions and human entanglements with threatened species and places. He is the author of The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds (Columbia, 2019), and co-editor of Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death, and Generations (Columbia, 2017).