December 7, 2018

Excursion for Open Set Lab
Thijs de Zeeuw

ZOOOF – a speculative research and design attempt into the future of the zoo

By David Habets; Ira Koers; Bart de Hartog and Thijs de Zeeuw

With support of the Creative Industries Fund



Based on the outcome of a symposium on the zoo and the anthropocene in 2017 we formulated 5 speculative zoos to explore new futures for the zoo based upon different ideas on cohabitation. They all touch somehow upon post human theory, but between them, they may be contradictory.


The Two-Way Petting Zoo

What does a zoo, which revolves around empathy look like? In which all conceivable mutual relationships between humans and animals are explored, in which ‘pastoral power’ is used as a mutual force?


Rewilding the Zoo

What does a zoo look like where animals have the same freedom as humans? Where as a visitor, you are invited to use your intuition; a zoo where risk and wildness make you aware of the vulnerability of your own body, of the animals and the plants around you?


Preparing the Ark

How does a zoo look like if we redesign the zoo’s nature for a site-specific extra-terrestrial future? Preparing the ark builds on the important narrative function that has arisen in the zoo over the last centuries.


The Zoo of De-Taxonomy

How does the zoo look like if we let go of the concept of the singular species? What if multi-species become the norm. What insights can we draw from the discourse of de-colonization in redesigning the zoo of the future?


The Voluntary Zoo

How does a zoo look like that every one visits out of free will? A zoo that both humans and non-humans use to forage, to hunt, to breed, to meet. Which species would be into this form of co-habitation, mutualism


Excursion and workshop

Thijs de Zeeuw will take you along a few of his designs he made for ARTIS and will explain how his idea on zoo design has evolved from an anti anthropocentric approach towards a more emphatic way of designing for non-humans. (30 minutes)

This workshop invites the participants -in small groups- to react in a ‘quick-response’ way on one of the five zoos, and apply its implications on a random enclosure at ARTIS. The desired output is a mini-manifesto for the future of its non-human inhabitants, preferably illustrated with sketches, schemes, or info-graphics…

(60 minutes)

To conclude the zoo visit we will present our manifestos and discuss the outcomes (30 minutes)