Thinking Like a Forest / Ecological Empathy

Jason Dilworth
Associate Professor
Visual Arts + New Media
SUNY at Fredonia

Since 2013 our organization has worked to respond and understand the forest as an idea generator for the designer. Through a process of exploration, reflection,and action we investigate through objects and questions. We seek to understand how complex forests systems work and sometimes fail. Through our investigations we find connections to the communities and work to build global partnerships while also creating a better understanding of our local bioregions, specifically the forests that live around us.

The presentation will introduce our research into the material and design culture of historic New York utopian communities and how their ideas contributed to, or countered, the ideological thinking that forever altered the region’s ecology and economies. Additionally we will also present our work and research on the reforestation efforts happening in East Iceland and explain the role that design is playing in building community and government support for the effort.