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A multispecies design approach in the Eure valley. Three lessons from a design studio in landscape architecture

Une approche multispéciste dans la vallée de l’Eure. Trois leçons tirées d’un atelier de projet en école de paysage.
Björn Bracke, Sophie Bonin, Bruno Notteboom et Hans Leinfelder

Résumés

L’état actuel de notre planète donne lieu à une série de nouvelles perspectives pour les humanités environnementales qui prennent en compte des points de vue « multispécistes », entendus comme cherchant à élargir ou à se décentrer de l’anthropocentrisme moderne. Ces voix sont souvent présentées comme des recherches « plus-qu’humaines », critiquant les visions du monde uniquement centrées sur l’être humain qui alimentent la dégradation de l’environnement et qui cherchent à reconnaître la nature imbriquée des humains et des non-humains. Cet article se penche sur un atelier qui a tenté de traduire les discussions souvent complexes, philosophiques et anthropologiques, de la littérature multispéciste en méthodes, plans et approches concrètes pour l’architecture du paysage. L’atelier était composé d’étudiants en master 1 en paysage1 de l’École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage de Versailles et s’est concentré sur la vallée de l’Eure. Cet exercice peut être considéré comme une étude de cas dans le cadre d’un processus de recherche plus large visant à comprendre le rôle de l’aménagement paysager dans le (re)façonnement des relations entre l’homme et la nature et à relier la pratique du paysagisme aux débats en cours dans la littérature « plus qu’humaine ». Dans cet article, nous décrivons trois leçons différentes tirées de l’expérience des étudiants comme des directions possibles pour une pratique de paysage multispéciste.

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Introduction

  • 2 Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Henry Holt and Company, 2014.
  • 3 WWF, Living planet report 2020 - Bending the curve of biodiversity loss, WWF, Gland, 2020.
  • 4 Paul J. Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer, “The ‘Anthropocene”, in Libby Robin, Sverker Sörlin, Paul W (...)
  • 5 Donna Houston, “Make kin, not cities! Multispecies entanglements and 'becoming-world'”, Planning Th (...)
  • 6 Laura A. Ogden, Billy Hall B and Kimiko Tanita, “Animals, Plants, People, and Things: A Review of M (...)
  • 7 Laura A. Ogden et al. as cited in Donna Houston, “Make kin, not cities! Multispecies entanglements (...)
  • 8 Philippe Descola, Par-delà nature et culture, Paris, Gallimard (Folio essais), 2015.
  • 9 See also the “more-than-human turn” in Sarah Whatmore, “Materialist Returns: practicing Cultural Ge (...)

1Biodiversity is declining at an historically unprecedented rate world-wide, due to human activity. The 2020 global Living Planet Index shows, on average, a 68% fall in monitored populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish between 1970 and 2016. By the end of this century, scientists expect the extinction of 20 to 50% of all living species on Earth.2 The loss of these species’ natural habitats is directly linked to the growing impact of human land use (for agriculture, infrastructure and urbanization), which drives the destruction and degradation of nature.3 The massive loss of biodiversity can be framed within a larger set of global challenges of the so-called Anthropocene, the current geological era in which human activity is the main driver for the transformation of earth systems.4 This new planetary epoch requires a radical rethinking of the deeply rooted humanistic modes for working in and engaging with today’s social, political, and ecological realities. A significant set of conversations in environmental humanities claim to put forward new perspectives as a response to the modern, human-centered and binary approaches of looking at humans and nature. Following the influential work of Houston5 and Ogden et al.,6 we describe this work as “posthuman” or “more-than-human”, referring to Ogden’s summary that posthumanism signifies one way to understand the world as “relational, real, contingent, multinatural and co-becoming with multitudes of life forms and entities.”7 As the French anthropologist Philippe Descola points out, we must challenge all conceptual frameworks of theorists and practitioners constructed within the “naturalist” Western ontological conception, which has been adopted since the Enlightment period.8 Sarah Whatmore describes how this realignment of intellectual energies and attentiveness to the livingness of the world brings forward new commitments. First, she identifies a shift in analytic focus from discourse to practice – thinking and acting through the body – and associates this with a so-called “practice turn”, which relocates social agency in practice or performance rather than discourse. Another redirection of efforts described by Wathmore is the rise of more-than-human modes of inquiry, “tackling the question of difference and rigorously working it through the specific materialities and multiplicities of subjectivity and agency.”9

  • 10 Ibid., p. 8.

2If “more-than-human” perspectives are becoming more and more central in processes of placemaking, landscape architecture might take up a central role, given its link to the natural sciences and its experience working with “living material”. Landscape architects can act as mediators in the empowerment of non-human actors and co-author the reconfigurations of human-nature relations. However, we need to think carefully about the role of nonhumans and go beyond asymmetric negotiations between human designers and nonhuman others.10 It is necessary to critically evaluate the deeply ingrained anthropocentric nature of each step of design and decision-making processes, the scientific foundations and knowledge systems of the discipline, modes of representation, project definitions, the notion of time, etc. This begins, among other things, by introducing these subjects in education and by transforming pedagogical objectives towards a new landscape didactic.

  • 11 See also Mathew Gandy, “Entropy by Design: Gilles Clément, Parc Henri Matisse and the Limits to Ava (...)

3In a design studio with first year master students in landscape architecture, we explored to what extent landscape architecture can mobilize these new scientific paradigms which put current anthropogenic value systems under critical scrutiny. Since landscape design is very much about shaping spatial relationships in natural environments, it seems to be the obvious discipline to embrace this emerging approach. Moreover, it touches on important discussions within the discipline, concerning the balance between the aesthetic, natural scientific and artistic competences of the landscape designer.11

  • 12 Karsten Jørgensen, Richard Stiles, Elke Mertens and Nilgül Karadeniz, “Teaching Landscape Architect (...)
  • 13 Deni Ruggeri, “The Studio as an Arena for Democratic Landscape Change: Toward a Transformative Peda (...)
  • 14 To attest to this, we refer to the French publications of the “Landscape Didactic” research program (...)
  • 15 Teresa Gali-Izard, Regenerative Empathy: Complex Assemblages in a Shared Environment, Harvard Unive (...)

4Since the 1990s, the discipline of landscape architecture has undergone a strong evolution that considerably changed the terrain of action and the (multi-stakeholder) contexts of projects. Within this evolution, The European Landscape Convention of 2000 marked an important step for landscape architecture didactics (and for the recognition of the role of landscape architects), stating that landscape interventions or strategies should no longer be limited to aesthetic interventions at specific locations (gardens, squares, parks, etc.) but should focus on everyday spaces and diverse landscapes.12 New challenges were introduced into the discipline related to energy, climate, hydrology, agriculture, infrastructure, participation, etc. Moreover, a significant part of research engaged with the socio-political context of projects:13 the relationship between landscape architecture and stakeholders, the involvement of inhabitants in projects, tools for social perception inquiries, etc. This body of research and pedagogical experiences allowed for a democratization within landscape design, through the interactions between landscape architects and relevant actors.14 Today, the current ecological crisis is forcing us to ask more fundamental questions about the multitude of relationships that we maintain and have built with other living beings, and to understand how the growing body of literature can be introduced in landscape architecture didactics. Design studios are often the core of landscape architecture education and thus serve as the perfect laboratory to test how new frameworks of (multispecies) knowledge seek to advance design practices.15

5The students were asked to develop strategies for co-habitation that consider the clientship of other life forms. They created an atlas that experimented with mapping and drawing techniques related to non-humans and explored how to design for multispecies landscapes. In this paper, we describe three different lessons drawn from student experiments as possible directions for a more-than-human or multispecies landscape architectural practice.

  • 16 The research project CO-HABITAT of KU Leuven and UC Louvain (funded by Innoviris Brussels) further (...)

6The exercise in the Eure valley can be understood as a case study within a larger research interest area,16 as it tries to understand the role of landscape design in (re)shaping human-nature relations and to connect landscape architecture practices to ongoing conversations in more-than-human literature. We start this paper with the theoretical framework of the studio which links more-than-human literature to landscape architecture theory. In the subsequent section, we describe the context, conceptual framework, methodology, location and the outputs of the studio. The final part explains some key findings, which are organized into three lessons and use examples from the studio outcomes.

Towards Multispecies Perspectives In Landscape Architecture

A discipline in evolution

  • 17 Ian McHarg, Design with Nature, New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1995.
  • 18 Charles Waldheim, Landscape as Urbanism, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2016.
  • 19 Frederick Steiner, “Landscape Ecological Urbanism: Origins and Trajectories”, Landscape and Urban P (...)
  • 20 Mohsen Mostafavi and Gareth Doherty, G. (eds.), Ecological Urbanism, Lars Müller, 1995. For more po (...)
  • 21 See critical reflections in the work of Greet De Block et al. (2019) and Koenraad Danneels (2021).
  • 22 See also the work of Erik Swyngedouw, Bruno Latour, Matthew Gandy and Donna Houston.

7In landscape design theory, a range of subsequent discourses can be identified by following the evolution of environmental movements and awareness since the 1960s. The concept of ecological planning and design was pioneered in 1969 by McHarg in Design with nature.17 Following the ideas of McHarg, the term “landscape urbanism” was coined in the 1990s as a discourse recognizing landscape architects as the urbanists of our age and considering landscape as a model and medium for the contemporary city.18 The landscape urbanism movement has been criticized because of its weak link to urban ecology or its lack of potential for wild nature in the city.19 Ecological urbanism can be considered as an evolution of landscape urbanism, arguing for a more holistic and politically engaged approach to the design and management of cities.20 However, these fields have been criticized for mainly focusing on technocratic and systemic conceptions of nature and hardly paying attention to the non-human perspective.21 Although discussions on human-animal relationships and the more-than-human dimension are rapidly gaining traction in urban geography, urban political ecology and planning theory,22 the engagement of design theory or practice with these topics is still embryonic and experimental. In this contribution, however, we will argue that landscape architects can play an important role in the use of multispecies perspectives in design.

Who’s your client?

  • 23 Erik Swyngedouw, “Circulations and Metabolisms: (Hybrid) Natures and (cyborg) Cities”, Science as C (...)
  • 24 Jane Bennet (following earlier work on the notion of assemblage by Deleuze and Guattari) explains h (...)
  • 25 Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern, Cambridge (MA), Harvard University Pres, 1993.
  • 26 See “Les auditions du parlement du Loire”, [online] [http://polau.org/incubations/les-auditions-du- (...)
  • 27 [Online] []www.embassyofthenorthsee.com, consulted at 7/03/2022.
  • 28 See also the field of ethology, the scientific study of animal behaviour.
  • 29 Baptiste Morizot, Sur la piste animale, Arles, Actes Sud, 2018.
  • 30 Vinciane Despret, “Sheep do have Opinions”; in B. Latour and P. Weibel (eds), Making Things Public, (...)

8Multispecies landscapes require a different understanding of clientship and agency. How can non-human needs be captured and understood, and how can placemaking design and decisions be aligned with these needs? Political ecology has already extensively engaged with the distribution of agency across all nodes and stages of the production of space, and all human and non-human entities involved.23 An understanding of animal agency can equip designers with tools to radically reconfigure spatial “assemblages”.24 The work of Bruno Latour on the “Parliament of Things”25 is the intellectual basis for experiments on “non-human agency” such as “Le parlement de Loire”26 or the “Ambassy of the North Sea”,27 challenging conventional decision-making processes on spatial transformations. At the same time, designers need a deeper understanding of how non-humans feel, behave, live, move, decide, organize, etc.28 The work of philosophers Baptiste Morizot29 on animal tracking, or Vinciane Despret30 on animal behavior provoke interesting spatial perspectives for landscape architecture to engage with.

Human-animal relations at the core of landscape systems

  • 31 Nathalie Blanc, “La Place de l’animal dans les politiques urbaines”, Communications, vol. 74, 2003, (...)

9Although the work of Coccia and Bennet, among others, shows the agency – or ability to act – of all types of organisms, in order to reduce the complexity of the exercise, the “more-than-humans” considered in the studio (and this article) are mainly animals. Within multispecies approaches, focusing on animals generates new lenses for examining the world differently, which are particularly relevant in order to understand that human-animal relations are often the driving forces that shape our daily environment. As Nathalie Blanc wrote, from her investigations on cats and cockroaches in cities, “the place of animals in our societies is significant in the evolution of politics, of the urban, of the place of the body and of animality.”31 Raising the question on the position of animals in Western societies, as well as the place that humans grant themselves in the world, automatically leads to more fundamental questions on the distribution and use of space in a broader sense. In recent years, several conversations could be witnessed, both in relation to invisible, forgotten animals (for example, insects, which are now recognized as pollinators, biodiversity indicators, pesticides in agriculture, or a food source), as compared to domestic animals (with an increasing opposition between livestock and pets) or even wild animals (with the rise of anti-hunting movements or protests against animal entertainment of any kind).

  • 32 Charles Stépanoff, “The Rise of Reindeer Pastoralism in Northern Eurasia: HUman and Animal Motivati (...)
  • 33 Bernadette Lizet, Le Cheval dans la vie quotidienne, CNRS Éditions, 2020 [1982].
  • 34 Xavier Girardet and Céline Clauzel, Graphab. 14 réalisations à découvrir, actes de la journée “Reto (...)

10Focusing on the animals within all non-human worlds when engaging with questions related to landscape design practice is relevant from an historical and ethnological point of view, but also from an ecological one. Firstly, animal relationships have historically shaped some of the most remarkable and recognized landscapes. Pastoralism32 or draught horse use,33 for example, became models that generated landscape relations that are today revisited by ethnologists and ethno-ecologists, because they imbricate social and ecological dimensions, while deploying strong, symbolic and imaginary content. Moreover, these models are resistant to modernity (or at least try to be). Secondly, animals are global indicators of the quality of environments, and even more, their movements play a major role in the definition of ecological networks. Mapping tools associated with ecological corridors have now permeated planning and landscape ecological assessment practices.34

Mapping and representation

  • 35 Alexandra Arènes, « Tracer le Vivant, Enquête dans le territoire de Belval Ardennes », in Billebaud (...)
  • 36 Ibid., p. 15.
  • 37 Alexandra Arènes, Bruno Latour and Jerôme Gaillardet, Giving Depth to the Surface – an exercise in (...)
  • 38 Anna Tsing, Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena and Feifei Zhou, Feral Atlas: The More-than-human (...)

11Drawings and maps are the central tools used by landscape architects and are equally challenged in order to consider multispecies perspectives. Traditional maps are deeply anthropocentric, since they represent a predominance of human infrastructures, human control over natural processes, nature exploitation, etc.35 Our Cartesian conventions of contemporary maps are not able to grasp the dynamic relations between geological and living beings.36 Our failure to include questions and issues concerning non-humans contributes to their marginalization in the way we intervene in and engage with our landscapes. This links to the recent work of Bruno Latour on the “Critical Zones” and related mapping experiments (“Gaïa-graphy”), beautifully illustrated in the book Terra Forma, among other works.37 In the Feral Atlas of Anna Tsing, conventional notions of maps are stretched and multispecies entanglements are represented.38

  • 39 Frits Palmboom, Bruno Notteboom, Kornelia Dimitrova and Bart Decroos, “The Drawing in Landscape Des (...)
  • 40 Ibid, p. 21.
  • 41 Kate Orff, Toward an Urban Ecology, The Monacelli Press, 2016.

12Notteboom, Palmboom et al.39 distinguish three important qualities of the landscape drawing: the analytical tool, the design generator and the instrument for discussion. During the student studio, we dedicated the first month to exploring the drawing as an analytical tool, aiming to challenge the existing analytical frameworks to better handle multiple space-times that inhere in more-than-human conceptualizations of space.40 As Orff points out, our failure to perceive and cope with environmental, systemic issues is to some extent a cognitive problem.41 This is particularly the case with the representation of temporo-spatial patterns of animals and their interdependence with human activities. Invisible causal relationships at the root of animal habitat disturbance, as well as the exploration of new habitat creation require new forms of dynamic cartography, including temporalities, flows, narratives, etc.

Assemblage thinking and “co-becoming”

  • 42 Anna Tsing, “Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species”; Environmental Humanities, vol. 1 (1), 2 (...)
  • 43 Donna Haraway, Staying with The Trouble, Making Kin in the Chtulucene, Duke University Press, 2016.
  • 44 Gilles Clément, Manifeste de tiers paysage, Édition de commun, 2020.
  • 45 Donna Haraway, “When Species Meet: Staying with the Trouble”; Environment and Planning D, vol. 28 ( (...)
  • 46 Donna Haraway, “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin”, Environmenta (...)
  • 47 Donna Houston, “Make Kin, Not Cities! Multispecies Entanglements and “Becoming-World””, Planning th (...)

13Tsing argues that multispecies landscapes usually exist in the margins of commodified urban spaces.42 Many species dwell at the edges of “spatial matters of concern”, since human-centered logics of development take precedence over practices grounded in the recognition of the co-evolution of multispecies landscapes.43 In other words, non-humans usually thrive in undesigned and neglected spaces. This links to Gilles Clement’s concept of “tiers paysage”, describing the importance of these neglected or unexploited spaces that host a large number of plant and animal species.44 The understanding that these undesigned landscapes play an important role from a multispecies perspective challenges the very nature of the discipline in order to move (further) towards projects that emerge through co-becoming with multitudes of life forms and entities. The work of Haraway on “becoming-with”45 or “kinds-as-assemblages”46; or the concept of “multispecies entanglements”,47 coined by Houston, can inform new roles for landscape architects as co-authors of new socio-ecological configurations.

  • 48 Emanuele Coccia, « La Terre peut se débarrasser de nous avec la plus petite de ses créatures », Le  (...)
  • 49 Tim Ingold, “Walking with Dragons: An Anthropological Excursion on the Wild Side”, in Celia Deane-D (...)
  • 50 Ibid., p. 42.

14Coccia also points to the need to see the human sciences as part of the natural sciences and, in turn, to see them as spiritual sciences,48 or as Ingold states, “the division between the reality of nature that can be discovered only through systematic scientific investigation, and the various imaginary worlds that peoples in different times and places have conjured up.”49 Ingold refers to anthropologist McLean, stating that the common ground between religion and science is to be found in an essential continuity between “human acts of imagining” and “the processes of shaping and transforming the material universe.” 50This means, on the one hand, that we should think more fundamentally about the place of animals in our daily actions and rituals (moving, working, housing, recreation, eating, etc.). On the other hand, it puts conventional blueprint design outputs under scrutiny, repositions the role of the landscape designer and requires new coalitions. In this sense, landscape interventions should include more sensory and sensitive approaches, capable of considering the cultural and spiritual resources (language, music, traditions, food, stories, rituals, arts, etc.) at the core of human-nature interactions.

The Design Studio

The studio as a laboratory

15The valley of the Eure was the subject of a design studio for first year master students in landscape architecture at the École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage de Versailles in Spring 2021. During this four-month workshop, 20 students were engaged in the “Co-habitat” studio, exploring more-than-human pathways for landscape architectural practice. The studio sought to formulate answers to the following questions: How can we develop a relational understanding of the multispecies communities of animals and humans that shape the landscape of the Eure valley? How can landscape architecture contribute to the development of multispecies landscapes that co-benefit both humans and non-humans?

  • 51 Although no formal collaboration with stakeholders was anticipated, stakeholders were consulted mor (...)

16In this paper, we reflect on the design studio, considering it as a living lab in which a wide range of actors with different backgrounds (teachers, students, stakeholders,51 lecturers, etc.) actively engage in an explorative exercise. The studio was conceived as a succession of different stages in which the focus evolved from a more analytical stance towards a project-oriented one. We look back at the different conversations within the context of the studio, the intermediate and final productions of the students, the discussions in the jury and the written and oral debrief with the students, in order to formulate pathways for disciplinary renewal.

The valley of the Eure, a traumatized landscape

  • 52 See the map “Forces hydrauliques de l’Eure-et-Loir en 1885 et 1900” drafted by Henri Bresson in 190 (...)
  • 53 Michèle Champenois, “Les Ballastières de la vallée de l’Eure: un gâchis à éviter”, Le Monde, June 3 (...)
  • 54 For example, there is a heated public debate about plans for a new bypass, autoroute 154, around Ch (...)

17The project area comprises a stretch of the Eure valley with two tributaries, the Vesgre and the Blaise (figure 1). The area is situated between the French regions Île de France, Normandy and the Centre Val de Loire. The valley has a “bathtub” shape, with ribbon-shaped villages springing up on either side. The higher hinterland is the Northern spur of the fertile region la Beauce, otherwise known as the “granary of France”. The river Eure and its tributaries are (today) non-navigable rivers, and the valley witnessed a strong transformation over the past centuries. In the 19th century, the Eure and its tributaries were characterized by a huge number of water mills that formed the center of economic activity and local, rural communities.52 After the Second World War, the valley was fundamentally redrawn by sand and gravel extraction, which led to the disappearance of many valuable wetlands. The remaining wells and ponds gave rise to the growth of recreational activities and private estates from the 1980s on.53 In the project area, we can distinguish different dynamics that have created urbanization pressure in the valley. On the one hand, there is the recreational pressure of the Paris urban region. Due to its direct rail link with Houdan, the Vesgre valley is a very popular area for second dwellings, leisure activities and tourism. On the other hand, the valley faces a continued demand for space linked to recreation, urbanization and infrastructure situated mainly around the urban centers of Dreux, Maintenon and Chartres.54

Figure 1. Left: Geographic Location Of The Eure River. Right: Project Area

Figure 1. Left: Geographic Location Of The Eure River. Right: Project Area

Source: author

18In the project area, we identify a number of key issues related to “co-habitation”. Agriculture is highly dominant in the region, making the ecological network very vulnerable and the forested areas very small and fragmented. Some agricultural practices often have a significant negative impact on water and soil quality. Hunting practices in the area preserve harvests, prevent diseases and support recreational purposes, but they have a significant impact on animal populations. In the river valley itself, the riverbanks are heavily fragmented and privatized. The constructed banks of the many fish ponds create barriers for amphibians, and external fish stocks are fed into the ponds, disturbing existing ecologies. In addition, infrastructures (highways, railways) are important barriers for migration in and around the valley. Finally, the many old dams and watermills in the Eure and its tributaries are important barriers for migratory fish.

Part 1: the atlas

19In the atlas exercise, the students focused on the representation of human-nature interactions in the project area and constructed analytical maps of the project site. Starting from temporo-spatial patterns of different animal groups, the impact of human activities and infrastructure was critically evaluated. The atlas explored dynamic mapping methods to visualize the complex relations of humans and non-humans. The students were divided into five groups, with a maximum of five students per group. We decided to make a comprehensive overview of all (visible) animal species. Each student group focused on a different animal class: small terrestrial animals, large terrestrial animals, aquatic animals (fish), aerial animals (birds) and amphibious animals. Students tried to identify these animals in the project area, to understand their biotopes and patterns, and to visualize their interactions with humans.

  • 55 Also see “Niche Theory” in evolutionary biology explained in Kevin Laland, Blake Matthews and Marcu (...)

20The construction of the atlas was based on different types of sources: geographic information, observations on site, local narratives or interviews, desktop research, literature reviews, etc. The cartographic exploration revealed the different spatial layers, such as vegetation types, infrastructure, water, species dispersion, settlements, agriculture, etc. The site analysis consisted of local stories and testimonies gathered during field work, phone interviews with relevant actors, site observations and pictures. The desktop research comprised the screening of relevant policy documents, studies, and literature on the case study site. The species’ interactions with human activities and infrastructures were visualized through understanding their patterns (relocation, migration, reproduction, etc.) and interests (predators, habitat requirements, food preferences).55 This “co-habitation atlas” combined all the results of the different groups and visualized a set of human-nature interactions in the project site from a non-human perspective. Students were challenged to include different types of representations (maps, section, diagram, etc.) in order to reveal the complexity of the set of information (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Some Examples of the Student Work for the Co-Habitation Atlas

Figure 2. Some Examples of the Student Work for the Co-Habitation Atlas

Authors: Michelle Totoy, Candice Gendrey, Alexis Campagne, Théo Lambert.

Part 2: the project

  • 56 Jacques Du Toit, “Research Ddesign”, in E. Silva, P. Healey, N. Harris, P. Van den Broeck, Research (...)

21In this second step, students worked individually and built upon the conclusions and findings of phase one. To start, each student identified a specific challenge within the project area in relation to a specific (problematic) human-nature “assemblage”. These assemblages revealed the multitude of relations that humans or nonhumans develop with their natural environment. For example, students worked on riverbank designs in relation to migratory fish, wetlands and migratory birds, agricultural villages and raptors, road networks and bats, etc. In identifying these challenges, the students were able to represent these problems on the level of the project area (territorial scale) and selected a case study area exemplary of the problem statement. Subsequently, the students worked on the case study area in order to develop alternative future scenarios through a research-by-design approach.56 In this stage, the students also revisited the site and their specific case study area. By introducing assemblage-thinking and “co-becoming”, we experimented with design proposals that engage with the relationships in between human and nonhuman actors, giving the physical intervention a subordinate role.

Three Lessons For A Multispecies Landscape Architecture Practice

Lesson 1: mobilize your own animality

22To take on a multispecies perspective, it is necessary to engage more intensively with the project area and to develop our instinctive and sensory capacities. We argue that mobilizing your animality is a combination of expanding knowledge about plants and animals and linking this to physical experience in the field. Finding site-specific knowledge in the fields of zoology and ecology proved to be very difficult. In the studio, we tried to fill this gap by planning some interactions with ecologists; however, very often we were also referred to specialists, such as ornithologists or mammalogists. At the same time, understanding biological realities did not always directly lead to an understanding of human-animal interactions in the field. This means one has to invest more time in revealing site-specific knowledge, hidden in the actions and traditions of the habitants and users on site (the socio-ecological component). During the studio, students gradually inserted valuable embodied or tacit knowledge. For example, some students were themselves involved in hunting practices, had family engaged in farming, and there was even a case of a student who was a horseback rider. The multitude of students’ experiences created a wealth of knowledge within the studio, stemming from family traditions rather than education. Although this knowledge was mobilized in several projects, a better valorization and exchange of this knowledge could be an interesting approach, possibly linked to a different way of engaging (physically) with the multispecies realities on the project site.

  • 57 Jonathan Metzger, “Negotiating the Right to the City: The Tormenting Cosmopolitics of More-Than-Hum (...)
  • 58 Baptiste Morizot, Manières d'être vivant : enquêtes sur la vie à travers nous, Arles, Actes Sud, 20 (...)

23During the studio period, we organized two moments for site visits, apart from several individual visits by the students themselves. The first 5-day field trip in January was organized in a more traditional way, focusing on meeting different actors, using the car, train, bicycle and visiting several cities and villages according to a schedule put together by the team of tutors. The program included meetings with a diverse range of stakeholders (local and regional administrations, civic groups, farmers, management bodies, etc.) linked to different topics (recreation and tourism, agriculture, water, forestry, nature, etc.). After the first project visit, the ongoing work gave rise to a different kind of sensitivity towards the project area as the studio progressed. During the second site visit, after finishing the mapping exercise for the atlas, students were much more engaged in searching for animal traces, inspecting carcasses on site, exploring animal life in ponds, etc. Metzger observes that myriads of creatures and existences are speaking to us all the time and it is our responsibility to listen properly to their voices.57 It is this form of animal tracking that, according to Morizot, makes us feel part of the natural world again, enabling us to learn to live together.58 The field visits thus took on a different dimension when human interest, whether direct or indirect, was no longer the main focus of attention. The collection of field treasures (figure 3) spontaneously brought into the studio by students somehow shows a sensitivity, amazement and attempt to physically connect to the project site.

Figure 3. Collection after one week of Site Visits

Figure 3. Collection after one week of Site Visits

Source: author

Lesson 2: the power of mapping and representation

  • 59 A more detailed analysis of the data that underpins the maps show a very limited set of sources, ve (...)
  • 60 Philippe Descola, Par-delà nature et culture, Paris, Gallimard (Folio essais), 2015.
  • 61 Matthew Gandy, “The Fly that tried to save the World: Saproxylic Geographies and Other‐Than‐Human E (...)

24The main ambition of the “co-habitat atlas” was to reveal non-human voices in the project area. In doing so, it quickly became clear that different species have a multitude of often conflicting needs that also operate at different levels or scales. For example, for the larger mammals, we needed to look at large scales, at important terrestrial connections and at infrastructural conflicts. The smaller mammals have a more limited territory and benefit from a multitude of small interventions. Birds and bats do not benefit from terrestrial connections but can profit from stepping stones or hop-overs. Within these animal groups, there are again very different needs, obstacles, and sensitivities. A number of species are strongly associated with human settlements (e.g. owls in church towers, bats in old ice cellars or typical “field birds” in agricultural areas), while other species stay far away from human activity. Mapping and representations thus proved to be a very helpful tool to unravel this complexity. In the construction of these maps, students encountered many difficulties in finding site-specific data and information.59 The data was often unavailable, scattered in different (government) organizations or hidden in (often outdated) studies. In contrast to highly urbanized regions, there was also little citizen science or crowdsource data available for the project area. One must also acknowledge the humanistic roots of knowledge systems like botany, ecology, history and geography when using and interpreting this data.60 Governmental institutions in control of data and studies often have limited capacity and/or conflicting economic and environmental stakes with regard to the natural resources they manage (water management versus fishing, forest management versus production and hunting, etc.). As Gandy questions, “if the scientific capacity of the government and its regulatory agencies is reduced or inadequate, then where does ecological or taxonomic expertise lie?”61 In this sense, the maps are often an interpretation and a simplification of reality.

Figure 4. In this Atlas Spread, the student represents observations of large mammals in the project area (top), their different life cycles (center) and their different interactions with the territory and Human Practices (bottom)

Figure 4. In this Atlas Spread, the student represents observations of large mammals in the project area (top), their different life cycles (center) and their different interactions with the territory and Human Practices (bottom)

Claire Daoudi

25However, searching for the traces of animal species and trying to understand their movements already created a different sensitivity and connection with the animal in question. Apart from the analytical quality of the maps, they were also very helpful in organizing discussions and in sharing knowledge on specific animal species in the studio, both among students and with stakeholders. The mappings are thus a powerful tool to “give voice” to other life forms and possibly introduce them in a multi-stakeholder environment. The construction also required that the students apply very specific technical skills. We challenged them not (only) to use conventional mapping methods, but to combine plans, sections and diagrams using different scales in order to be able to communicate the complex temporo-spatial patterns of the species. In this sense, it was necessary that the drawings be compelling and interpretative in order to be communicative.

  • 62 Jakob von Uexküll, Theoretical Biology, New York, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1926, p. 79.

26When experimenting with drawings as design tools to construct landscape interventions, students also understood the importance of the “sensory apparatus”. Animals obviously have a very different, and unknown way of experiencing and reading space and time. The scientist Jakob Von Uexküll, one of the most important founders of biosemiotics, describes this as the difference between the “Umgebung” and the “Umwelt”. The Umgebung can be considered as the objective space or physical manifestation, while the Umwelt, the milieu, can be described as the perceptual environment in which an organism exists and acts as a subject.62 All species have a very different sensitivity to temperature, sound, light, smell, vibrations, etc. This makes it difficult to understand how different species experience a territory and to develop appropriate interventions for different species. Moreover, we were also confronted with our own sensory limitations, and thus the impossibility to correctly read the Umgebung, or the objective reality. During the design studio, the students spontaneously experimented with other forms of representation to grasp the subjective reality of other species. For example, a thermic view represents the perspective of a garter snake (Fig. 5). Inspired by aboriginal mappings and as a reaction to Cartesian human-centered mapping methods, the hypothetical map shows how the snake perceives the territory, representing the different obstacles and elements related to the animals’ interpretation of the territory.

Figure 5. A thermic view of the project site from a snake (left), a sensory “animist” map of the project site based on art work of Australian Aboriginals

Figure 5. A thermic view of the project site from a snake (left), a sensory “animist” map of the project site based on art work of Australian Aboriginals

Suzy Pensuet

Lesson 3: “undesign” for co-becoming

  • 63 Plumwood as cited in Donna Houston, “Make Kin, Not Cities!…, op. cit, p. 190-212.
  • 64 Ibid., 29.
  • 65 Michel Corajoud, “Une lettre aux étudiants”, in Jean-Luc Brisson, Le Jardinier, l'artiste et l'ingé (...)

27The second part of the studio focused on possible interventions or projects, and was perhaps the most difficult component. Plumwood describes two key tasks to move away from human exceptionalism and to imagine alternatives, “to resituate the human in ecological terms” and to “resituate the non-human in ethical terms.”63 Within the discipline of landscape design, the creative act of design is still too often approached as an intervention that is new and manageable. 64In his letters to students, Corajoud warns against this pitfall and argues that the landscape architect should resist overloading the open space with protheses or photogenic objects.65 In that sense, physical transformations should not (only) align with human-centered templates (political cycles, construction methods, market formats, etc.), but also take into account transformation processes that emerge from human/non-human relations. Figure 6 shows the 50-year transformation of a large recreational lake into a habitat area (“1000 pond landscape”) for different amphibians, using slow natural sedimentation processes. In this way, the student tries to think beyond conventional “construction logics” that would imply the movements of thousands of trucks to supply soil for the intervention.

Figure 6. Transformation Strategy for the Ecluzelles Lake over a Time Span of 50 Years

Figure 6. Transformation Strategy for the Ecluzelles Lake over a Time Span of 50 Years

Tiphaine Laurent

  • 66 Also referred to as “assemblages”, focusing on the complex interactions between humans and non-huma (...)
  • 67 Hanna Aalto et Henrik Ernstson, “Of Plants, High Lines And Horses: Civic Groups and Designers in th (...)

28Within the more-than-human discourse, many voices argue for a different role in order for designers to co-author new socio-ecological configurations66 in close collaboration with civic groups and stakeholders.67 Interventions are rather situated in the complex interactions and dynamics between people and animals, taking into account a specific time-space dimension. Although the studio did not allow for close interaction with local stakeholders, many students tried to propose interventions that linked to the daily practices and interactions of different life forms. Figure 7 shows the solutions constructed by students evoking connections with local practices. The work in the valley of the Blaise tries to resituate agricultural and recreational practices in order to acknowledge a co-existence with amphibian ponds, reproduction areas for trout fish, etc. The proposals on the right include new templates for agricultural areas that propose road profiles, plantings, light measures and agricultural practices that could favor bats.

  • 68 Sophie Bonin, Elise Audouin andAntoine Messéan, “Construction de projets agroécologiques territoria (...)

29These results show that the multispecies approach renews the crossroads between agriculture and landscape architecture. Agricultural and forestry activities offer relational nodes that are particularly important for landscape architects, and that can also serve as inspiration for interventions in more urbanized contexts. The challenges related to the invisible or forgotten animals, the invasive and unwanted species, or domestic versus wild animals, are often very similar. Agronomy, for its part, has been concerned for some years with the methods of co-design, combining scientific expertise, spatial conception and stakeholder mediation.68

Figure 7. Landscape Strategy for the valley of the Blaise (left). Vision for a network for bats in the Eure valley (right).

Figure 7. Landscape Strategy for the valley of the Blaise (left). Vision for a network for bats in the Eure valley (right).

Candice Gendrey and Yann Riou

  • 69 Ibid., p. 41 and 42.

30Following the arguments of Coccia and Ingold,69 the studio also explored more fundamental connections of placemaking with spiritual and artistic practices. Figure 8 on the left represents a contemplation area where people can come yearly to experience the frog concerts during mating season. The proposal on the right includes a yearly cultural-artistic festival that connects the woodland management practices to the creation of bat habitats.

Figure 8. A Sunset at the Edge of the 1000 Ponds Landscape, accompanied by a Concert of Amphibians during the Breeding Season on a May day in 2085 (left). Cultural-Artistic Event on Bat Infrastructure (right).

Figure 8. A Sunset at the Edge of the 1000 Ponds Landscape, accompanied by a Concert of Amphibians during the Breeding Season on a May day in 2085 (left). Cultural-Artistic Event on Bat Infrastructure (right).

Tiphaine Laurent and Yann Riou

Conclusions

31The student exercises in the Eure valley put forward three lessons that showcase possible directions to integrate multispecies perspectives in landscape architecture. In the first lesson, we promoted a stronger connection to the project site and the mobilization of tacit knowledge. In the second lesson, we elaborated on the importance of drawings as an analytical tool to unravel complex human-nonhuman interaction and to communicate thereon in diverse arenas. Finally, in lesson three, we also shed new light on the landscape architectural project and explored how multispecies designs, or processes of co-becoming can take concrete form.

  • 70 See also recent historical research on the interaction between urbanism and ecology showcasing a te (...)

32Apart from the lessons, the exercise also revealed important questions for further research. First, the work of the students was very limited in responding to the social and political reality of the case study area. For example, the cities of Dreux and Chartres have a very different socio-economic profile, which was barely addressed in the work of the students. This links to critical literature on landscape urbanism and ecological urbanism addressing the lack of a social project.70 More-than-human approaches in landscape architecture might better engage with the socio-political context by including socio-political parameters in “assemblage” thinking. This perhaps links to more fundamental questions on the position and the role of landscape architects in processes of placemaking.

33The experiment also raises some reflections on the landscape architecture didactic and links between studio teaching and research. Since students have few automatic methodological reflexes, the studio proved to be a fertile ground for questioning common practice. Moreover, the students appeared to be very committed to current themes related to the topic of the studio. Despite their enthusiasm, many students still encountered difficulties when delving into literature from other fields that would enable them to develop a critical position as a designer. The exercise also raised questions as to what extent an experimental approach can be reconciled with the pedagogical objectives of a course. Students are supposed to learn design skills that are today indispensable in the professional field and anchored in the very tradition of the discipline, but are perhaps more human-centered. This links to the set of the evaluation parameters on which students should be assessed. In the final jury, ecologists looked much more at the ecological relevance of the project, while designers also expected an appealing narrative that was sufficiently elaborated graphically and design-wise.

34With this article, we argue that these new more-than-human and multispecies perspectives in the humanities offer a new window of opportunity for landscape architects to claim a more important role in processes of spatial planning and design. At the same time, it challenges the very identity and tradition of the discipline, that is deeply ingrained in humanist modes to understand and interact with the landscape. The voices within the more-than-human discourse are rapidly gaining traction in planning and design theory. There is an urgent need for landscape architects to engage with these myriad concepts and theories in order to explore future pathways for the discipline. The results of the Eure exercise show the multiple possibilities, with many directions yet to be explored. Furthermore, the enthusiasm of the students, that was also reflected in the feedback sessions, demonstrates the eagerness among young landscape architects to reclaim the societal and environmental relevance of the discipline. With this article, we hope to contribute and further fuel ongoing conversations in the field.

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Notes

1 The first master year corresponds with DEP 2, the second year of the landscape architecture program diplôme d’État de paysagiste.

2 Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Henry Holt and Company, 2014.

3 WWF, Living planet report 2020 - Bending the curve of biodiversity loss, WWF, Gland, 2020.

4 Paul J. Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer, “The ‘Anthropocene”, in Libby Robin, Sverker Sörlin, Paul Warde (eds.), The Future of Nature: documents of global change, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2000, p. 479-490.

5 Donna Houston, “Make kin, not cities! Multispecies entanglements and 'becoming-world'”, Planning Theory, vol. 17, issue 2, 2017, p 190-212.

6 Laura A. Ogden, Billy Hall B and Kimiko Tanita, “Animals, Plants, People, and Things: A Review of Multispecies Ethnography”, Environment and Society, “Advances in Research 4”, 2013, p. 5-24.

7 Laura A. Ogden et al. as cited in Donna Houston, “Make kin, not cities! Multispecies entanglements and 'becoming-world'”, Planning Theory, vol 17 issue 2, 2017, p. 190-212.

8 Philippe Descola, Par-delà nature et culture, Paris, Gallimard (Folio essais), 2015.

9 See also the “more-than-human turn” in Sarah Whatmore, “Materialist Returns: practicing Cultural Geography in and for a more-than-Human World”, Cultural Geographies, vol. 13, n° 4, 2006, p. 600609.

10 Ibid., p. 8.

11 See also Mathew Gandy, “Entropy by Design: Gilles Clément, Parc Henri Matisse and the Limits to Avant-garde Urbanism”, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 37, Issue 1, 2013, p. 259-278.

12 Karsten Jørgensen, Richard Stiles, Elke Mertens and Nilgül Karadeniz, “Teaching Landscape Architecture: a Discipline comes of Age”, Landscape Research [Online), 30 nov. 2020.

13 Deni Ruggeri, “The Studio as an Arena for Democratic Landscape Change: Toward a Transformative Pedagogy for Landscape Architecture”, in K. Jørgensen, N. Karadeniz, E. Mertens, R. Stiles (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Teaching Landscape, Routledge, 2019, p. 96-112.

14 To attest to this, we refer to the French publications of the “Landscape Didactic” research program, funded by the Swiss National Research Fund: Anne Sgard, Sylvie Paradis (ed.), Sur les bancs du paysage, Metis Presses, 2019; Hervé Davodeau, Sylvie Paradis, Monique Toublanc (dir.), “Paysage et didactique”, Projets de paysage, n°18, 2018.

15 Teresa Gali-Izard, Regenerative Empathy: Complex Assemblages in a Shared Environment, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2018.

16 The research project CO-HABITAT of KU Leuven and UC Louvain (funded by Innoviris Brussels) further elaborates on these topics in the Brussels Captial Region. https://ppulresearch-kuleuven.be/research/

17 Ian McHarg, Design with Nature, New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1995.

18 Charles Waldheim, Landscape as Urbanism, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2016.

19 Frederick Steiner, “Landscape Ecological Urbanism: Origins and Trajectories”, Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 100, Issue 4, 2011, p. 333-337; Wybe Kuitert, “Urban landscape systems understood by geo-history map overlay”, Journal of Landscape Architecture, vol. 8 (1),2013, p. 54–63.

20 Mohsen Mostafavi and Gareth Doherty, G. (eds.), Ecological Urbanism, Lars Müller, 1995. For more political-engaged approaches, we refer to the concept of ‘bioregional thinking’, Alberto Magnaghi, La Biorégion urbaine, Eterotopia, 2014.

21 See critical reflections in the work of Greet De Block et al. (2019) and Koenraad Danneels (2021).

22 See also the work of Erik Swyngedouw, Bruno Latour, Matthew Gandy and Donna Houston.

23 Erik Swyngedouw, “Circulations and Metabolisms: (Hybrid) Natures and (cyborg) Cities”, Science as Culture, 15 (2), 2016, p. 105-121; Matthew Gandy, “Rethinking Urban Metabolism: Water, Space and the modern city”, City, vol. 8 (3), 2004, p. 363-379.

24 Jane Bennet (following earlier work on the notion of assemblage by Deleuze and Guattari) explains how assemblages are ad hoc groupings of diverse elements, vibrant materials of all sorts, affected by multiple forces at the same time in which not one element has sufficient capacity to consistently determine the impact of the group. Jane Bennett, “The Agency of Assemblages”, in Jane Bennet, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, Durham, Duke University Press, 2010, pp. 20-38.

25 Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern, Cambridge (MA), Harvard University Pres, 1993.

26 See “Les auditions du parlement du Loire”, [online] [http://polau.org/incubations/les-auditions-du-parlement-de-loire], consulted at 7/03/2022).

27 [Online] []www.embassyofthenorthsee.com, consulted at 7/03/2022.

28 See also the field of ethology, the scientific study of animal behaviour.

29 Baptiste Morizot, Sur la piste animale, Arles, Actes Sud, 2018.

30 Vinciane Despret, “Sheep do have Opinions”; in B. Latour and P. Weibel (eds), Making Things Public, Karlsruhe/Cambridge, MIT Press, 2005, p. 360-368.

31 Nathalie Blanc, “La Place de l’animal dans les politiques urbaines”, Communications, vol. 74, 2003, p. 159-175.

32 Charles Stépanoff, “The Rise of Reindeer Pastoralism in Northern Eurasia: HUman and Animal Motivations Entangled”, Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. 23, 2017, p. 376-397.

33 Bernadette Lizet, Le Cheval dans la vie quotidienne, CNRS Éditions, 2020 [1982].

34 Xavier Girardet and Céline Clauzel, Graphab. 14 réalisations à découvrir, actes de la journée “Retour d’expérience sur Graphab” du 27 juin 2017, France, Théma/Ladyss, 2018.

35 Alexandra Arènes, « Tracer le Vivant, Enquête dans le territoire de Belval Ardennes », in Billebaude, Sur la piste animale, vol. 1°, 2017.

36 Ibid., p. 15.

37 Alexandra Arènes, Bruno Latour and Jerôme Gaillardet, Giving Depth to the Surface – an exercise in the Gaia-graphy of Critical Zones, The Anthropocene, 2017.

38 Anna Tsing, Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena and Feifei Zhou, Feral Atlas: The More-than-human Anthropocene, Redwood City: Stanford University Press, 2021.

39 Frits Palmboom, Bruno Notteboom, Kornelia Dimitrova and Bart Decroos, “The Drawing in Landscape Design and Urbanism. The Drawing in Landscape Design and Urbanism”, OASE, vol. 107, 2020, p. 1-10.

40 Ibid, p. 21.

41 Kate Orff, Toward an Urban Ecology, The Monacelli Press, 2016.

42 Anna Tsing, “Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species”; Environmental Humanities, vol. 1 (1), 2012, p. 141-154.

43 Donna Haraway, Staying with The Trouble, Making Kin in the Chtulucene, Duke University Press, 2016.

44 Gilles Clément, Manifeste de tiers paysage, Édition de commun, 2020.

45 Donna Haraway, “When Species Meet: Staying with the Trouble”; Environment and Planning D, vol. 28 (1) “Society and Space”, 2010, p. 53-55.

46 Donna Haraway, “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin”, Environmental Humanities, vol. 6 (1), 2015, p. 159-165.

47 Donna Houston, “Make Kin, Not Cities! Multispecies Entanglements and “Becoming-World””, Planning theory, vol. 17, issue 2, 2017, p. 190-212.

48 Emanuele Coccia, « La Terre peut se débarrasser de nous avec la plus petite de ses créatures », Le Monde, April 3, 2020.

49 Tim Ingold, “Walking with Dragons: An Anthropological Excursion on the Wild Side”, in Celia Deane-Drummond, David L. Clough, Rebecca Artinian-Kaiser (eds.), Animals as Religious Subjects: Transdisciplinary Perspectives, London, Bloomsbury, 2013, p. 35-58.

50 Ibid., p. 42.

51 Although no formal collaboration with stakeholders was anticipated, stakeholders were consulted more informally and ad hoc during the exercise. For example, during the field exploration, there were clarifications from local administrations, elected officials, farmers, the ONF, some local associations, experts and residents. There was an explanation from the CAUE Eure et Loire and moments of feedback with a local ecologist. In addition, students in the group had to interview local stakeholders for the theoretical component of the studio and several students maintained local contacts during their project.

52 See the map “Forces hydrauliques de l’Eure-et-Loir en 1885 et 1900” drafted by Henri Bresson in 1903 and exposed by the Association de protection vallée de la Drouette in Doure-sur-Drouette.

53 Michèle Champenois, “Les Ballastières de la vallée de l’Eure: un gâchis à éviter”, Le Monde, June 3, 1971.

54 For example, there is a heated public debate about plans for a new bypass, autoroute 154, around Chartres, which, to a large extent, runs through valuable natural areas.

55 Also see “Niche Theory” in evolutionary biology explained in Kevin Laland, Blake Matthews and Marcus W. Feldman, “An Introduction to Niche Construction Theory”, Evolutionary Ecology, 2016, p. 191-202.

56 Jacques Du Toit, “Research Ddesign”, in E. Silva, P. Healey, N. Harris, P. Van den Broeck, Research Methods in Spatial and Regional Planning, New York, Routledge, 2015, p. 61-73.

57 Jonathan Metzger, “Negotiating the Right to the City: The Tormenting Cosmopolitics of More-Than-Human Planning”, paper presented to MISTRA-FORMAS Environmental Humanities Forum, Linköping University, Linköping, 2015; Vinciane Despret, “Sheep do have Opinions”, in Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel, Making Things Public. Atmospheres of Democracy, MIT Press, 2006, p. 360-370. Also see Deborah Bird Rose and Libby Robin, Vers des humanités écologiques, Wildproject Éditions, 2019.

58 Baptiste Morizot, Manières d'être vivant : enquêtes sur la vie à travers nous, Arles, Actes Sud, 2020.

59 A more detailed analysis of the data that underpins the maps show a very limited set of sources, very often with little scientific importance.

60 Philippe Descola, Par-delà nature et culture, Paris, Gallimard (Folio essais), 2015.

61 Matthew Gandy, “The Fly that tried to save the World: Saproxylic Geographies and Other‐Than‐Human Ecologies”, in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44, 2019, p. 392-406.

62 Jakob von Uexküll, Theoretical Biology, New York, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1926, p. 79.

63 Plumwood as cited in Donna Houston, “Make Kin, Not Cities!…, op. cit, p. 190-212.

64 Ibid., 29.

65 Michel Corajoud, “Une lettre aux étudiants”, in Jean-Luc Brisson, Le Jardinier, l'artiste et l'ingénieur, Les éditions de l’Imprimeur (Jardins et Paysages), 2000, p. 37-50.

66 Also referred to as “assemblages”, focusing on the complex interactions between humans and non-humans, also see work of Jane Bennet and Donna Haraway

67 Hanna Aalto et Henrik Ernstson, “Of Plants, High Lines And Horses: Civic Groups and Designers in the Relational Articulation of Values of Urban Natures”, Landscape and Urban planning, 2016.

68 Sophie Bonin, Elise Audouin andAntoine Messéan, “Construction de projets agroécologiques territorialisés : à la recherche des conditions et caractéristiques de ces démarches”, Agronomie Environnement et Sociétés, vol. 8, n° 2, décember 2018, p. 111-116.

69 Ibid., p. 41 and 42.

70 See also recent historical research on the interaction between urbanism and ecology showcasing a technocratic, naturalized understanding of the urban which bypasses social and political questions. See work of Greet De Block et al. (2018) and Danneels et al. (2020, 2021).

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Left: Geographic Location Of The Eure River. Right: Project Area
Crédits Source: author
URL http://journals.openedition.org/craup/docannexe/image/9824/img-1.png
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Titre Figure 2. Some Examples of the Student Work for the Co-Habitation Atlas
Crédits Authors: Michelle Totoy, Candice Gendrey, Alexis Campagne, Théo Lambert.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/craup/docannexe/image/9824/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 1,6M
Titre Figure 3. Collection after one week of Site Visits
Crédits Source: author
URL http://journals.openedition.org/craup/docannexe/image/9824/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 2,4M
Titre Figure 4. In this Atlas Spread, the student represents observations of large mammals in the project area (top), their different life cycles (center) and their different interactions with the territory and Human Practices (bottom)
Crédits Claire Daoudi
URL http://journals.openedition.org/craup/docannexe/image/9824/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 1,7M
Titre Figure 5. A thermic view of the project site from a snake (left), a sensory “animist” map of the project site based on art work of Australian Aboriginals
Crédits Suzy Pensuet
URL http://journals.openedition.org/craup/docannexe/image/9824/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 2,2M
Titre Figure 6. Transformation Strategy for the Ecluzelles Lake over a Time Span of 50 Years
Crédits Tiphaine Laurent
URL http://journals.openedition.org/craup/docannexe/image/9824/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 911k
Titre Figure 7. Landscape Strategy for the valley of the Blaise (left). Vision for a network for bats in the Eure valley (right).
Crédits Candice Gendrey and Yann Riou
URL http://journals.openedition.org/craup/docannexe/image/9824/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 893k
Titre Figure 8. A Sunset at the Edge of the 1000 Ponds Landscape, accompanied by a Concert of Amphibians during the Breeding Season on a May day in 2085 (left). Cultural-Artistic Event on Bat Infrastructure (right).
Crédits Tiphaine Laurent and Yann Riou
URL http://journals.openedition.org/craup/docannexe/image/9824/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 1,5M
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Référence électronique

Björn Bracke, Sophie Bonin, Bruno Notteboom et Hans Leinfelder, « A multispecies design approach in the Eure valley. Three lessons from a design studio in landscape architecture »Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale urbaine et paysagère [En ligne], 14 | 2022, mis en ligne le 30 avril 2022, consulté le 03 février 2023. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/craup/9824 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/craup.9824

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Auteurs

Björn Bracke

Björn Bracke is a landscape architect, urban designer and PhD-researcher at KU Leuven. He is founder of the firm Kollektif Landscape and visiting lecturer at the École nationale supérieure de paysage in Versailles.

Sophie Bonin

Sophie Bonin is an agronomist and holds a PhD in socio-cultural geography. She is associate professor (maître de conférences) at École nationale supérieure de paysage de Versailles, France.

Bruno Notteboom

Bruno Notteboom is an engineer-architect and urban designer and holds a PhD in urbanism and spatial planning. He is associate professor at the faculty of architecture of KU Leuven, Belgium.

Hans Leinfelder

Hans Leinfelder is a bioscience engineer and spatial planner and holds a PhD in engineering sciences. He is associate professor and vice-dean at the faculty of architecture of KU Leuven, Belgium.

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