Symbiotic Design is an emerging multi-disciplinary practice within the wider field of Biodesign. Its conceptualisation facilitates theoretical and practical reflections to create alternative thinking for ecologically and socially sustainable systems through new design strategies that combine nature-based experiences and behaviour change towards an ecological and culture-conscious design ethos. It aims to integrate the relationships between living organisms of a given ecosystem as a pre-established framework for the creation and manufacture of biological circular systems, artefacts and cultural objects. First observed in bio-integrated architecture and now spreading to System, Product, Textile and Fashion Design to name a few, this discipline aims to investigate and re-invent our place as humans within a set environment.
Symbiotic design is this branch that seeks to immerse the maker into an ecosystem to understand carbon-based life forms and their habitat so we can design towards lowering the impact our human activities have on these biomes and design towards a sustainable human existence. This idea of mutualism between humans and their environment does not only consider how we can harness natural processes to craft objects and systems, but how each step of the making process can contribute to a more holistic synergy between humans, organic and inorganic.
Text by Aurelie Fontan and Jessica Bachmann
image by Aurelie Fontan
Photographer Rhianna Thomas, model Tracy Thi Le