More-than-human Placemaking with Data Storytelling




November 27, 2023

More-than-human Placemaking with Data Storytelling

This research aims to expand urban placemaking toolkits to species other than humans, combined with methodologies that prompt urban professionals to consider natural elements and ecological systems equal parts or users of the urban space. 

The intention is to provide a ready-to-use tool for real-world activities to tackle biodiversity loss in urban areas, repair ecosystems, and strengthen communities. Additionally, this presents an opportunity to develop the capabilities, processes, and motivation required by urban designers into an integrated approach suitable to working with the ecology of place, converting human-centered urban environments into more-than-human places. 

In this context, storytelling – based on data on the more-than-human, or biodiversity, in general – is used to translate how the pragmatic ways of urban design contribute to improving urban quality, both for humans and non-humans. The goal is to develop connections between citizens and place, highlight its importance and relevance and help develop empathy with the more-than-human in urban environments. 

More-than-human-centered design in practice: R&D course at MOME Innovation Center

Brief Description: The course provides insight into the field of ‘more-than-human-centered’ design, including its underlying motivations, theory, evolution, various current design contexts of application, and criticism. Throughout the course, we explored the potential that the built environment holds for non-human urban inhabitants and how urban (public) spaces and places can be welcoming to species beyond humans. Students worked in groups, and the project work focused on designing habitats (with physical and digital space markers) for non-human species and applying related design strategies – serving as an experiential sustainability experiment and a manifestation of global sustainability principles.

Course Language English

Course Objective: The course aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of ecological design and, building on that foundation, to design and create habitats for non-human inhabitants of the campus, moving beyond human-centric design norms. Participation in the course also helps students recognize the intertwined and mutually influential relationship between design and sustainability, as well as become aware of the societal and environmental consequences of design impacts on sustainability.

Lectures, courses and workshops

09-12. 2023 – More-than-human-centered design in practice R&D course – MOME Innocation Center (17 students, 4 months)

11. 2023 – presenting about the research @ 4S Conference (Society for Social Studies of Science) 2023 Honolulu

09. 2023 – Fostering Multispecies Urban Futures: Workshop on Nature-Inclusive Design through Data Storytelling @ Placemaking Week Europe 2023, Strasbourg, contributors: Damla Cay, Giulia Gualtieri

07. 2023 – More-than-human data storytelling workshop @ MOME, Budapest, with Damla Cay

06. 2023 – More-than-human-placemaking: Ecology-design interdisciplinary symposium @ MOME, Budapest. Presenters: Dr. András Weiperth (Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences: urban ecology) • Zsombor Bányai (Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences: urban botany) • Zoltán Orbán (Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Association: birds and the city) • Dr. Tamara Szentiványi (Ecological Research Center: bats and the city) • Dr Judit Boros (MOME Innovation Center: more-than-human-centered design) • Zsófia Szonja Illés (MOME Doctoral School, iASK – Environmental Research Group: sensory methods in more-than-human design research)

Innovation Center of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) Budapest | Data Storytelling Hub

Data Hub web