by Marianne Sellmair and Severin Popp
Our object is a meeting place for animals and humans. It is designed to connect each other through the shared habit of eating. Usually animals only participate in our meals by being the meal, but this object strives to change this habit into sharing the meal and to marvel at our similarities and differences.
Right now, biodiversity is much richer in cities than on the countryside, but most people don’t actually know about that. This is why we want to encourage urban biodiversity and peoples awareness about this topic.
In Speculative Design projects we imagine a future scenario. We think through how things could be and summarise our insights in a tangible object. This object of a possible tomorrow helps us understand and talk about our situation today.
In this case the connection of ants and humans lets us think about why we do not like living animals at our table and how we could find a way to share our space and accept each other.
We think there should be a common ground for humans and animals to connect and learn from each other. To eat is a thing that all living creatures need to do. So we decided to use this habit as a common base for our project.
Usually the only way animals participate in our meal is by being the meal. The object we created is a system which provides food and habitat for ants. It is thought to be freely accessible for the animals, meaning they will live in their natural habitat but have the possibility of visiting the humans table whenever they want.
The spheres of glas line up over the table and present a space for communication between ants and humans. This unusual and maybe even irritating situation strives to let us think about why we treat animals as less valuable like ourselves.
How and why did we get to the point of not caring about nature?
Who needs whom to survive?