Dr. Daniel Metcalfe: Things I’ve learnt about designing for humans from doing Multispecies Design

Faculty Colloquium


Following an ongoing paradigm shift calling for the inclusion of a greater diversity of wild animals within human-dominated habitats (as a way of addressing both the erosion of biodiversity and humankind’s alienation from nature), my research proposes that there is a growing need for a design practice capable of responding to the needs of wild animals, while addressing questions of human-animal interaction. Case studies are focused on identifying and developing design approaches and tools for studying and representing wild animals in design projects to facilitate their integration into built environments. The insights from the practical work, together with the theoretical framework developed alongside them, have led to the development of Principles of Multispecies Design and practical and conceptual Tools for Multispecies Design.

Dr. Daniel Metcalfe is a designer, design researcher and senior lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning in the Industrial Design department. He graduated and did his master’s degree at the Politecnico di Milano and PhD at the University of the Arts London (2015). His doctorate thesis, titled Multispecies Design, looked at design processes that address the needs of wildlife within built environments and design’s role in human-animal interactions. His research interests and teaching include topics of social design, product-service systems, human-animal interactions, somatic design, and nature-centred design.

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