Regenerative Empathy: Complex Assemblages in a Shared Environment

Regenerative Empathy: Complex Assemblages in a Shared Environment explores the relationship between humans and the natural world; it begins to answer the question of how to construct intelligent synergies between people, their cultures and economies, and the natural world in order to recuperate the fundamental sources of life on earth.

The projects in this report touch on a broad range of disciplines: students translated their fieldwork, research on geological and climate data, research on food production, and surveys of scientific literature into drawings focusing on the “rhizosphere”—a term defined by agronomist Lorenz Hiltner

in 1904 as the soil microbiology around the root system of plants. The investigations and drawings that comprise these reveal new potential assemblages for La Camargue in France, proposing new forms of association between the people, animals, and plants that inhabit the region.

In this era of climate change and in the aftermath of centuries of environmental ruin, we sought to create a more diverse, inclusive, and resilient foundation to support life in Arles, for both humans and nonhumans, now and into the future. To achieve this regenerative effect and create a more just future, empathetic actors are needed, new associations have to be imagined, and novel complex ecologies have to appear.

Regenerative Empathy is a Studio Report from the Fall 2018 semester at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design based on the option studio “Rhizosphere,” taught by Teresa Galí-Izard. This studio was made possible with the generous support of Maja Hoffmann and the LUMA Foundation.

French edition of Regenerative Empathy, available in full on the Harvard GSD’s issuu page.

Published by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Spring 2019.

Also available in French.

Series Design by Zak Jensen and Laura Grey
Report Design by Christin Hu and Stefano Romagnoli

Softcover, 150 pages, 17 x 24.5 cm, $21.72
ISBN 978-1-934510-75-9

Distributed by Amazon and available in full on issuu.