Who actually inhabits a citiy? What is natural? Who keeps us alive? The research project is exploring these questions through perspectives from the arts, sciences, algorithmic design, additive manufacturing and crafts. The main focus is on multispecies habitats for urban wildlife.

Humans consist of and need different forms of life to be alive, so Symbiotic Spaces is a aestethical exploration of relationships to other species, involving robots, critter and people. Being culturally integrated into the idea of nature not to think culture or technology as outside of the wild ecosystems will be crucial for a life sustaining future, so Symbiotic Spaces searches for empathic relationships with our non-human relatives.

Trailer of the first installation in Hildesheim, Germany.
Film: Paul Knopp

Symbiotic Spaces searches for a way to create places in urban areas, to provide habitats for non-human species and which can be a meeting point for different forms of life. Donna Haraway proposes in her book „Staying with the Trouble“ from 2016, to make kin with different forms of life, to actively engage in relationships with non-human species. Through the processes which drive evolution, the living beings on the planet are connected and sustain eachother, but at the moment most human societies take part in extracting from the ecosystems and extinct rapidly so many forms of life.

Expecially in cities, where humans control the enviroument so rigorously, there is still a lot of potential to actively engange with resident wildlife, to enable public or semi-public spaces to make an experience with other species. Being culturally reintigrated in the idea of nature and not to think culture or technology as outside of the the wild ecosystems, will be crucial for a sustainable future and needs experimentation, searches and questions.

„The machine is us, an aspect of our embodiment“ writes Donna Haraway in her Cyborg Manifesto from 1985 and thinks technology as  part of the natural human process and also humans as part of nature. Symbiotic Spaces is involving Robots and local, wild clays to search for a bio-friendly way of building and to integrate digital manufacturing into the current paradigm shift in arts and design. Ceramic modules, „growing“ from the water to the ground and into the air, offering housing opportunities to a broad variety of species: water animals, smaller mammals, wild insects, and birds. The forms are inspired by a slow observation of non-human architectures in the forest, informed by natural algorithms and the viscocity of wild, local clay. Every city has its own color colors of soil, so a white clay was chosen to visualize a neutral example. To carefully take a piece of the lokal earth and shape it, so that humans and non-humans can read and interact with the architectonical structures. 3D Clay-Printing in this case is medium to reconsider the nature of technology, the use of  materials and the question, which needs and perspectives should be involved in contemporary, technological output. Humans need different forms of life to be alive and to connect actions within a bigger context, so Symbiotic Spaces trys to strenghten the searches for empathic relationships with our non-human relatives.



The Symbiotic Spaces Collective is winner of the New European Bauhaus Prize Rising Stars 2022

new european bauhaus prize logo rising stars

Thanks to all the supporters:

Laurin Kilbert

Laurin Kilbert is an artist, designer & co-funder of the symbiotic spaces collective, based in Germany. He explores the intersection of art, design, technology, and ecology.