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The Umwelt Apparatus is a design exercise inspired by von Uexküll’s “A Stroll through the Worlds of Animals and Men” from 1934. The idea is to devise and build a simulation apparatus that would help us experience the world from the point of view of a selected animal client – offering a glimpse into the unique ways in which the animal senses and interacts with the world.
I have been repeating the exercise in my Human-Animal-Machine course over the past years and am continuously surprised by the level of intimacy, empathy, and commitment it creates between the students and the animals they are designing for. Here are a few of the projects from the past years.
Read more about Multispecies Empathic Design here