Machine[s] in the Garden: instruments, simulations and new ecologies


  • Simon Bussiere University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Lance Walters University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa


Extended into the design academy, this theme – of an artificial interruption of humans into nature - persists to a large extent in design curricula despite efforts in recent years to fuse or integrate a more holistic understanding of natural and built systems.  Exploring this problem in two parallel courses with similar structure & methods, the authors and their students looked for ways that increasingly complex simulations could offer a way of better understanding both ecological and technological patterns and processes; reinforcing precision and controls where possible, while embracing indeterminacy and failure/unpredictability, and thereby coming to a greater understanding of Marx’s implied and arguably false binary.