Regeneration: A Virtual Series

The Nature Lab is pleased to announce the Regeneration virtual series. Taking place from October 2020 — May 2021, this online speaker event will explore diverse perspectives on how making can integrate with natural, cultural, and social systems in a way that influences creative practices for the benefit of communities and the planet.

Join us on Thursday, November 19 at 12 PM ET for the second session with Esme Murdock, a philosopher focused on African American, Afrodiasporic, and Indigenous philosophies and environmental ethics. Moderated by the Nature Lab’s Operations and Engagement Coordinator, Dora Mugerwa, this conversation will address several questions, including:
In thinking about the growing need for artists/designers to be ecologically responsible and leaders in sustainability, how does the history of ecological citizenship and the assimilating notion behind the word "citizenship" impact who participates in the environmental movement?

Register and stay tuned for this second conversation in the Regeneration series!

RSVP HERE for Regeneration with Esme Murdock.

Esme G. Murdock
is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Associate Director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs at San Diego State University. Her research explores the intersections of social/political relations and environmental health, integrity, and agency. Specifically, her work focuses on African American, Afrodiasporic, and Indigenous philosophies and environmental ethics. She has work published in Environmental Values, Hypatia, Journal of Global Ethics, Journal of World Philosophies, Transmotion, Earth Island Institute, and Center for Humans and Nature.

RECAP: Regeneration with Billy Almon

October 22nd hosted the kickoff conversation of the Regeneration series with Astrobiofuturist and biomimicry expert Billy Almon, who shared how biomimicry can create restorative futures for black and brown communities. This line of thought began while he worked in the field and learned that a man had been shot in his grandmother's backyard; the police thought that the man had a gun when he actually had a cellphone. This changed the direction of Billy’s research, where he asked himself, “if biomimicry can't help my community, then what's the point?” During his talk, he emphasized the importance of exploring the narrative and how this investigative process can help change the monolithic story of police violence. This led him to study different animals’ reactions to perceived threats and where similar responses occur in the human body.

“What’s the actual biology taking place in these instances of police shootings?” Billy asked. He challenged us to look at this violence through a broader lens and understand the “historical, socioeconomic, and biological history of these occurrences.” What is the officer and the person at the other end of the barrel experiencing physiologically in this heightened state of stress and perceived threat? How can understanding this, together with knowing the historical existence of the police and the propagandized fear of "other", lead to biomimetic solutions that can help reduce violence against communities of color?

In thinking about regeneration, Billy encouraged designers and artists to observe patterns in both nature and human behavior in order to “discover new narratives that will help realize our ideal future.” He explained that in order to bring humanity closer to a better tomorrow, we need to focus on “restorative futures,” which he defines as “rehumanizing people, places, and systems through empathetic designs informed by biology and nature.”

Watch the recap video above for more!

Discover More
Nature Lab Logo
Support us Subscribe to our Newsletter

The RISD Nature Lab is an EPSCoR|C-AIM Core Research Facility supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #OIA-1655221 and EAGER Grant Award #1723559. ​​​Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this site are those of the Nature Lab and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.​

© 2020 Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design