Hannafore tests


If you’ve visited Hannafore beach recently you may have noticed the appearance of strange-looking concrete tiles on the outfall pipe leading from the beach.

The tiles have been designed to provide habitat for marine species on man-made concrete structures as part of my PhD project at Falmouth university. We are currently testing a few tiles on the outfall pipe on Hannafore to see if they do what we expect of them.

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Limpet grazing power

BBC Four’s “The Secret Life of Rock Pools” is full of fascinating facts regarding the lives and behaviour of intertidal species. Beadlet anemones fencing each other over the best spot in the rockpool, a limpet fighting off a starfish by clamping down on its sticky tube feet, muscles pooling their threads together in cooperation to lockdown and starve a predator dogwelk… Amongst the drama, Professor Stephen Hawkins of The University of Southampton shows the findings of an experiment designed to demonstrate the grazing power of limpets.

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Animals as clients 2: understanding the Umwelt

“This little monograph does not claim to point the way to a new science.  Perhaps it should be called a stroll into unfamiliar worlds; worlds strange to us but known to other creatures, manifold and caries as the animals themselves.  The best time to set out on such an adventure is on a sunny day.  The place, a flower-strewn meadow, humming with insects, fluttering with butterflies.  Here we may glimpse the worlds of the lowly dwellers of the meadow.  To do so, we must first blow, in fancy, a soap bubble around each creature to represent its own world, filled with the perceptions, which it alone knows.  When we ourselves then step into one of these bubbles, the familiar meadow is transformed.  Many of its colorful features disappear, other no longer belong together but appear in new relationships. A new world comes into being.  Through the bubble we see the world of the burrowing worm, of the butterfly, or of the field mouse; the world as it appears to the animals themselves, not as it appears to us.  This we may call the phenomenal world or the self-world of the animal.” Continue reading

Animals as clients

One of the key changes that should take place in order to redesign our human habitats in a way that is more welcoming for other species is for architects, designers and planers to learn how to look at other species as their clients.
In many cases this would involve someone that could interpret the needs and wishes of these animals to the person creating the project, this is why I believe “reconciliation design” is by definition an interdisciplinary effort.

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An important role of designers in society is in imagining future scenarios, interesting applications of new technology, new ways of interacting with other people, with our cities and with the environment. This is extremely important when trying to change an existing unsustainable situation that would involve changes in peoples behaviours or attitude. I believe any new idea should be imagined into a wider context, a vision if you will, where it exists together with other new and old ideas. These visions tell people a story about what their lives will look like with the new idea in place.

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