The research carried out was varied in subject area, gathered through a range of sources and types of media. It investigated numerous aspects of interspecies interaction and was documented using a blog (olipratt.com). Some of these areas include, what I called, beings as objects, environment and context shaping interactions, kinesthetic empathy, the role of objects during interaction, pet therapy, multispecies environments, and rules of interaction. At week five of the project, I had established a broad subject area that was most interesting to me being the role of environment and objects in interspecies interactions. It was during further research into this that I came across the term ‘indoor biome’. The project’s outcome is a manifestation of these multiple areas of interest I acquired throughout the research phase. But taking a speculative approach, it ultimately and successfully explores the manufacture of ecological niches, reframes the dialogue away from the current cultural conception of interspecies spatial divides, and imagines how multiple species could coexist in harmony within the indoor environment. It pursues a critical investigation into the advances in science and technology, presented in the form of a product (Newhope Biological Systems) within a scenario (the year 2035 where the space covered by the indoor biome has increased by 2000% and it’s essential for the integration of species is to occur for lack of space). Within that scenario, the hypothetical company called ‘Newhope’ aims to combat the desolation of natural ecosystems worldwide by manufacturing new ones below Earth’s surface. The purpose of their biological sewage and lighting systems is, as well as providing sewage and lighting to enhance the natural world and its interrelationship with human society. Their manufactured ecosystem and multispecies environment suggests an alternative way of integrating humans into the ecosystem concept, representing the potential of human life as a beacon for biodiversity. I hoped that building a narrative would help to contextualise and appropriate the obscure ideologies I was attempting to communicate. Ethical and societal implications of my ideas should they ever be materialised. But, firstly It extremely unlikely, and secondly this only fuels further debate. My aim was to encourage the user/reader to reconsider how the present is futuring and how we might potentially have the chance to reconfigure it.
The process of visually realising this concept involved a steep learning curve. I predominantly used the 3D modelling software, rhinoceros, to build virtual models. This way I was able to render them from different angles, perspectives, and scales. I was previously a complete novice at this, but persevered and was eventually glad to find myself competent with the software. This also made it possible to 3D print a tangible object to accompany the illustrations and graphics. Rhino greatly helped me to fathom the fairly large scale and intricate forms I was realising, allowing me to situate them in different contexts, such as the piping containing jellyfish inside a house. The concept was delivered through a series of diagrams in a leaflet/booklet, composed as if it were selling a product. I found it extremely difficult and never fully found success in explaining the ins and outs of a large scale integrated system because I didn’t really understand how it may work myself. However, this was not important to me. What was important and what I did fully understand was what the system represents, as explained in the above paragraphs, and I’m confident the graphics within the booklet do successfully illustrate that.