Part of the
Design United
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Design United


+31(0)6 48 27 55 61


HomeProjectsCommunity of Symbiosis

Community of Symbiosis

Many scientists describe the current era as the “Anthropocene”, an era characterised by human domination. In this era, we prioritise the needs and benefits of humans over that of others. The many severe environmental, economic and social crises are a result of this era. With this project I provoke others to rethink our role in relationships with nonhuman species, that are plants, animals and microbes. Especially the role that technology plays in this relationship is explored.

“Is it our duty to make up for humankind’s mistakes?”
Loes Voermans

I propose an alternative world in which we use artificial skin for underwater breathing technology to establish and maintain multispecies collaboration between Emyle (the human in the pictures) and a water plant called Waterweed, which is very common in Dutch sweet water lakes.

Based on the philosophy of post-anthropocentric philosophers like Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing, I developed this new worldview that in theory could be achieved in the nearby future. 

“I believe it is crucial to critically reflect upon the role that we as a group, but also as individuals, play in multispecies collaboration.”
Loes Voermans

It makes us think about the way we implement technologies. But more importantly, it presents us with ethical dilemmas and philosophical questions. Is it our duty to make sacrifices (like undergoing heavy surgery to implement artificial gills) to better collaborate with nonhuman species or to even become more dependable of them?

Should we even do this even when there is no direct value for the human as an individual? Is it our duty to make up for the mistakes of humankind? Or is it just to stay out of nature to give it a chance to reestablish a balance without human interference? What is our role in nature or what should it be?