Diagramming Multispecies Cohabitation

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This 3-credit course, taught by Michael Ezban, Clinical Assistant Professor of Architecture in Spring 2021, focused on the construction of analytical diagrams and animations that describe multispecies architecture—buildings intended for mutualistic cohabitation by both humans and nonhuman animals.

Designing multispecies architecture is an act of inclusivity; it challenges latent and overt anthropocentric biases that exist in the design disciplines, and requires that architects seek and explore more-than-human perspectives and needs. The drawings produced by the students in this course describe entanglements between humans and nonhuman animals that shape, and are shaped by, architecture: koi ponds that provide a residence with evaporative cooling; a museum with corridors scaled to humans and elephants; stables where horses and humans can mingle on a planted roof; and more. This course asks students to attune to the functional and aesthetic decisions made by architects who have attempted to satisfy the needs of “clients” beyond the human.