Engaging design for ecological citizenship: Informing approaches to human‐nature interactions

Robert Phillips, Naho Matsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


The COVID-19 pandemic forefronted public urban and suburban nature interactions. ‘Human‐nature interactions’ produce positive health impacts, knowledge production, risk perception, sustainable behaviour, engagement in conservation and more. Governmental and charitable reporting documents ‘nature deficit disorder’. The Design Economy report (2021) highlights that social, environmental and economic design must engage communities. Ergo, building community empowerment, is paramount to catalyse and embed sustainable design practices. The authors define a contemporary design space, unpick strategies and present ‘approaches to human‐nature interactions’ insights. The My Naturewatch (NW) project features an accessible DIY camera trap, fostering beneficial nature engagements regardless of location, technological and/or wildlife expertise. NW is central within the outlined design space. The article reports on NW deployment(s) and catalysing organizations and communities. Three studies include: (1) The Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild, digital campaign, (2) The Durrell Trust, placed-based activity and (3) Nova New Opportunities, working with re-located communities. The authors acknowledge communities are sacrosanct and a substantial sustainable design asset for regeneration. The work leverages contemporary ‘phy-digital’ engagements, highlighting practices of social, environmental and public design spaces. The findings insights benefit cultural institutions, practitioners, conservation projects and more.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-68
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Design, Business and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Research Group keywords

  • Interaction Research Studio


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