After actively participating in the economic success of Glasgow, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Clyde was a polluted River with barely any life. Following several urban policies and rapid industrialisation, the River is today perceived as a “dead River”, a dead
environment that has lost its purpose.
Using a multispecies approach this project explores how to move beyond anthropocentric ways of thinking by looking at a local environment through a more-than-human lens. Rethinking our relationship with the environment invites us to produce new narratives which can reshape our understanding of our local environment and contribute to a new culture of practices.
Clota explores how we relate to the local environment and how design can participate in the creation of more-than-human narratives in the Clyde region. The context of Glasgow and the Clyde is here used as an environment of exploration of how things are and how things could be otherwise.
Through a series of speculative artefacts, taking place in 2035, Clota suggests new ways to interact and understand the River Clyde. Moving beyond a human-centred approach invites us to decentre our relationship with the environment and consider other beings as equal. In 2035, the Clyde region becomes a Bioregion, that is co-govern by local authorities, communities and non-humans.
To reconnect people with the River Clyde, a series of community places, called “Clyde Meeting Point” have been developed. These communities can meet, look and feel the River. The school also uses the spaces to educate children regarding the River Ecosystem. In addition, one can follow the human and non-humans local activity through the “Clyde News journal”, a multispecies inclusive newspaper of the Clyde Bioregion. This newspaper is complemented by a novel called “The Untold Story of the Salmon”, narrating to young audiences the Clyde’s history from the perspective of more-than-human beings. Last but not least, through a River Constellation tool and new mapping practices, Clota suggests other ways to represent our local environment, highlighting our co-dependency with other beings and possible unattended consequences of human actions.
This future vision of the Clyde environment offers a multilayered approach to creating more-than-human narratives and practices, targeting different levels of the society, with the ultimate aim to foster a more mutual and plural relationship with the River environment.