Think about biodiversity from non-human perspective

Jiaming Liu
4 min readApr 20, 2021


Design future in biodiversity is a field that I have never been involved in before. Without hesitation, I chose this subject at beginning of the course and I want to see how service design can help Southwark achieve the goal of neutral zero carbon by 2030.

Phase1: digest brief

After reading the brief and other articles in Southwark, we discovered that when taking about the approach of improving and maintaining biodiversity local government and people always want to plant trees. Actually, this method is really limited and we believed that there are more interesting and meaningful methods to achieve the same goal. During the process, speculative design helped us to rethink the relationship between wildlife and humans in the future. When we design something, we used to focusing on humans. However, the main role of biodiversity is wildlife. Therefore, we considered that possibly in the future animals and plants have the same rights to live with people in the urban areas.

Phase 2: horizon scanning and think about potential stakeholders

We started horizon scanning not only from six different perspectives, like political, environmental, social, but also from both local and international perspectives. We hoped that after finishing this process and discussing together we can find a more specific direction.

I was responsible for doing research in Southwark and UK. During the process, I kept asking questions ‘ what if ‘ about the future. And then I concluded my thoughts.

Individual thoughts from the course

About horizon scanning :

This is a good research patterns. During the process of doing research, I can Gather information about emerging trends and developments from different perspectives and I can know about one area systematically as well as provide new perspectives to future threats or opportunities. I think this method can help me to make a better choice about project direction and even help me to develop a more realistic future design idea in the next steps.

About speculative design:

By questioning the potential applications and implications of future services, I can explore more interesting problems avoid focusing on addressing the current problems. I think it is a good thinking method for me to build a future world. And I look forward to designing one future project which can challenge current thoughts related to biodiversity and also be meaningful for Southwark’s goal.

About designing future:

Before taking part in the course, I thought that designing future was to make full use of imagination to describe the future. However, now I have realized that a meaningful future idea should base on development and potential trends in the real world. A plausible future can give valuable debate for people and encourage people to prepare early for future.