Kinning with the Unseen More-than-Human: Towards methodologies for the Barrambin Project

Jane Turner, Jen Seevinck, Marcus Foth, Keith Armstrong, Nicole Vickery, Nick Kelly, Anastasia Tyurina, Heather McKinnon, Amari Low, Lowana Davies (More-than-Human Futures, Design Lab, School of Design, Queensland University of Technology)
2022 Conference

This paper presents some critical design engagement with and around a South-Eastern Queensland inner urban location: the waterways of Barrambin. Conceived within the precepts of critique of the Anthropocene and concerns for More-than-Human futures, the project started with the aim of bringing contextual and historical visibility and sensibility to the ancient creeks and waterways which exist in and around an urban village area and adjacent park, recently returned to public use after decades of being a city golf course. What started out as an apparently straightforward design-led project, conceptualised as a small place-based co-design process with a view to engaging the local community with the new park, went through a state change because of emerging critical complications around the nature of relational methodologies when working with the More-than-Human, especially complex when the More-than-Human in question is itself made up of multiplicities.

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About the author

Jane Turner

Jane Turner is a game and interaction design educator and researcher. Her research embraces game design, story-making and the more-than-human through frames informed by narrative, meaning-making and place. She focuses on narrative methodologies and the material and cultural aspects of game designing, particularly the ways that design and designing are mimetic ‘story-ing’ practices.


Jen Seevinck

Jen Seevinck is a practitioner, educator and researcher working in creative interaction design, emergence and data visualisation by framing enquiries into co-design, participatory art practices, perception and embodiment, and drawing on qualitative research methods into stakeholder and audience experience.


Marcus Foth

Marcus Foth is Professor of Urban Informatics at the Queensland University of Technology. His research brings together people, place, and technology. His transdisciplinary work is at the international forefront of human-computer interaction research and development with a focus on smart cities, community engagement, media architecture, internet studies, ubiquitous computing, and sustainability.


Keith Armstrong

Keith Armstrong is an experimental artist profoundly motivated by issues of social and ecological justice. His engaged, participative practices provoke audiences to comprehend, envisage and imagine collective pathways towards sustainable futures.


Nicole Vickery

Nicole Vickery is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at QUT, Brisbane Australia. She believes that play has the power to shape people’s lives and her research into videogame play, and children’s active play with tangible, embodied and embedded technologies is guided by this. Nicole is keenly interested in how play can influence people’s experiences in nature.


Nick Kelly

Nick Kelly is a cross-disciplinary researcher spanning the fields of Design and Education. He conducts research into design cognition (how designers think), metacognition in learning (how teachers and learners develop their metacognitive abilities), and places where these two things come together (design pedagogy, design for learning, learning by design, design of learning technologies).


Anastasia Tyurina

Anastasia Tyurina is interested in collaborative practices of science, technologies, arts, and design that address complex critical issues in society. Anastasia sees the development of technology as a fundamental human activity and operates within the domains of emerging technologies, visual communication, interaction design, scientific imaging, photography, and creative coding.


Heather McKinnon

Heather McKinnon is a designer-researcher and educator in Interaction Design. Her research focuses on designing ecological futures through the lens of Sustainable Interaction Design and Speculative Design. Her recent work engages with how ecofeminist theories and approaches can address ecological issues within Design.


Amari Low 

Amari Low is a multidisciplinary designer with a background in graphic design and web development. Their research bridges locative media, interactive narratives, and capturing complex relationships with(in) place through storytelling and visual art. Amari’s ongoing thesis project explores design supporting virtual placemaking among translocal people in long-distance relationships


Lowana Davies

 Lowana Davies is an eco-olfactory artist and MPhil. Candidate with QUT School of Creative Practice and Centre for the Environment. Drawing on pro-Indigenous, intersectional and trans-inclusive feminist thinking, her practice-led research investigates how we might use engaged, situated arts practices to build stronger connections with the ecologies of more-than-human worlds, by tuning into them using our sense of smell.