The increase in the world’s human population and global industrialization processes are leading to the loss of species and habitats on a scale so enormous that we are said to be living through the sixth mass extinction. In recent years, urban biodiversity has become the focus of design and research efforts, as cities now offer more attractive habitats for many wildlife species than the disconnected nature preserves or deserts of industrial agriculture. Cities can play a pivotal role in confronting the entanglements of postnature if they are reimagined as a site of potential multispecies coexistence and even flourishing. To do this, they would have to be understood as a multiplicity of worlds — realities constituted through different species’ particular ways of knowing and mattering. Such individual reference frames, what German biologist Jakob von Uexküll famously described as Umwelt, are constantly in the making, shaped by processes of co-worlding.

This research project uses the lens of co-worlding to develop environmental media approaches that aim to support and foster biodiversity in urban areas by extending design research to natural, cultural and media sciences. In the project’s three case studies, media infrastructures are installed in three sites of human-environment entanglements: in the Merian Gardens near Basel, in a former port area of the city of Basel, and in a nature reserve in the Basel agglomeration. These design interventions aim to support new forms of multispecies coexistence, cultivate ecological values and practices, and expand ecological knowledge and experience.

Project Website

Research Institutions
  • FHNW Academy of Art and Design
  • FHNW School of Engineering
  • SWILD – Urban Ecology & Wildlife Research (independent research and consulting association)
Partners for Case Studies
  • Merian Gärten der Christoph Merian Stiftung
  • Bau- und Verkehrsdepartement Basel-Stadt, Städtebau & Architektur, Gesamtentwicklung Basel Nord und Stadtgärtnerei Basel
  • Technische Verwaltung Reinach Umwelt + Energie und Aufsichtskommission der Reinacherheide
Responsibility in postnatural environments

Friday, 5th July 2024
Critical Media Lab & online

In this one-day workshop we discuss whose responsibility, for what and to whom, is or should be evoked in environmental discourses.

Land as Pedagogy

Friday, 24th May 2024
Critical Media Lab & online

What kind of education is needed to support biodiversity in landscapes, and to develop practices of environmental justice? Building on Leanne Simpson’s evocation of land as pedagogy, this one-day workshop explores practices that align with Indigenous land-based knowledge transmission principles, aiming to take land as a source of knowledge, a way of grounding a system of reciprocal social relations and ethical practices.