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Lisa Kusaka + Valia Puente
Animals are simultaneously food, pests, and our best friends. These varying perceptions of animals affect the way we shape their environments and control their lives. The power we have over non- humans has reinforced the idea that they are domesticated objects and tools at our disposal, when in actuality domestication is a two- way relationship. Humans and animals have domesticated each other, and despite our dependence upon other species, we rarely acknowledge this larger network that humans are inherently a part of. This project, The Palladian Decoy, aims to de-center the human and instead forefront co-existence by introducing an unusual co-species structure at a critical moment in the development of our relationship with domesticated animals. While the design research positions itself in the 18th century, our current attitude towards animal rights has changed little. Even now, when animals have more rights than ever before, we also have livestock caged and slaughtered in industrialized factory farms. By examining the past, and creating an alternative history, we are able to imagine an alternative present and future. To truly recognize the influence and impact we have upon other species and vice versa, we need to remove ourselves from the center, to allow room for others. In this way, design can be leveraged to challenge our superior hierarchical position and establish a mutually reciprocal relationship between other animals and humans.