Augmented Humanity:
Design for Multispecies Kinship & Survival

James Litvak

In Nature, animals, insects, and plants communicate through pheromones called social chemosignals. Humans are unconsciously participating in these invisible methods of communication, which define many of our social interactions. Augmented Humanity explores the potential of harnessing social chemosignals as a tool for multi-species kinship and survival. This project reimagines the role of technological objects by investigating rapid prototyping technologies and computational design as tools for visualizing these airborne signals. By merging these technologies with bioactive multi-material films, Symbiont, a family of twelve bio-wearable objects, is proposed.

Symbiont speculates on three categories for intervention: human to human, human to pet, and human to plant. The human to human intervention explores the altered response to social chemosignals in the autism spectrum, which leads to the misreading of emotional cues in human interaction. The human to pet intervention explores the opportunity to understand the impact of human emotional health on our pets through sensory acquisition. Furthermore, The human to plant intervention explores the loss of protective chemosignals on food crops due to the increasing use of pesticides. Augmented Humanity creates a future in which we live in synchronicity with the multiple species on our planet, by creating frameworks for multi-species collaboration to improve life on earth.

Multi-material bioactive samples Multi-material Bioactive Samples



James (Jaime) Pizarro Litvak is an American-born European-bred design researcher,  industrial and global innovation strategic designer. With a demonstrated history of transnational work in the field of design across Europe, Asia, North America, and the Caribbean. During his BA in Product Design, he studied at UAL Central Saint Martins in London and the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. In 2018 he conducted international research and social innovation projects in England with the Royal College of Art and Imperial College in London, and Keio University’s Media Design program in Tokyo, Japan. In his work, he uses design as a tool for social change and for building systems and strategies which reshape humanity’s future.  “I find inspiration in humanity, cultural immersion, technological embodiments, and always looking to push the boundaries of design.”

︎    jpizarro@pratt.ed



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