An Interspecies Interactive Zone
Master’s stage one project.
Pets are our best friends. However, there are still many misconceptions about pets. Pets and people are a kind of co-evolution relationship. Because companion animals are not humans, people need to be aware of the behaviour of appropriate animals in their daily lives. I chose PDSA Pet Hospital as the site. As a charity pet hospital, PDSA is like the intersection of all these relationships. I think that people’s love for pets should not be a forced affiliation. Just as many people have a lot of connections, people get happiness in their interactions, and pets should enjoy the happiness they deserve. Perhaps this is also a particular meaning of pet hospitals.
In this design, from a cat’s perspective, I see people as big cats. Through certain restrictions, force people to understand their cats’ world. By better connecting people and pets, such warm energy can be continuously transmitted from person to person, from person to pets.
The contribution made by PDSA is undeniable both in terms of social benefits and personal feelings. However, this site is ignorable and not attractive. Besides, people always treat pets in humans’ way, regarding them as small people. I decided to make a change of this site and create a better impression.
From Ernst Bloch’s The Priciple of Hope, Oren Harman’s The Price Of Altruism, Donna Haraway’s The Companion Species Manifesto and many other references, it is clear that our altruistic behaviours is of the same reason why we keep pets. This kind of behaviours is a hard-wire of our brain. It is gene that push us to persuit a sense of connection.
Through research, it can be concluded that people helping others and raising pets are all derived from the social instinct of people. This instinct is physiological, not moral. This instinct closely links person and person, person and pets.
We cannot deny that such a link does bring happiness and attention to pets, but we cannot ignore the misunderstandings in this relationship. If people can be more aware of the existence of pets as non-humans and experience the feelings of pets, ‘care’ can also become warmer and more powerful.
We care each other and we are linked with each other. I decided to find a way to create closer relationship and to know our little friends better.
Although people often express how they love their pets and how to establish family-like relationships, there are always some misunderstandings about pets. I don’t think this is intentional neglect or don’t care. On the contrary, I believe this is an inevitable factor brought about by anthropocentrism.
Because the relationship between humans and pets is a derivative of human empathy, humans do not assume the role of pets when establishing such relationships. We cannot deny that such a link does bring happiness and attention to pets, but we cannot ignore the misunderstandings in this relationship. If people can be more aware of the existence of pets as non-humans and experience the feelings of pets, ‘care’ can also become warmer and more powerful.
People and pets have very different senses. According to the Opponent Process, humans have a red-green colour channel compared to cats and dogs. By combining blue and yellow, humans with the Red-Green colour channel can see green, but cats and dogs without this colour channel can only see grey.
By emulating the overlap of colours to simulate the information of the two channels, people may be able to understand the different experiences brought by the number of different colour channels.
It is not difficult to conclude that most of the space that people and pets live together is the result of anthropocentrism. People place pet’s spaces in the periphery of people’s places: corners, under furniture, on walls, etc. Is there such a possibility, after setting up the place of the pet, then put the space of the person?
Cats are facultatively social animals, so I want to create places where they can both get rests on their own and have social possibilities. I regard these colored bubble as a ‘rabbit hole of Alice’, where human can experience a very different world and got a very different view.