Garland #22 ✿ How can species help each other to flourish?

Garland 2.0 begins with a question about the relationship between humans and nature.

One of the major themes that emerged from our five-year journey was the ideal of partnership with nature. Stories such as Abe Muriata’s Jawun reflected a circular relationship with materials in which the making of the basket involved not just masterly weaving but also care for the rainforest, the source of its materials.

The first stage of our new journey looks at our way forward as a species. We can take a number of different paths:

  • Onwards: Human exceptionalism
  • Partnership: Working with nature
  • All together: We are part of nature
  • Back to the garden: Recover our lost connection with nature
  • Justice: Uphold the rights of nature

Our first thinker-maker, Tyson Yunkaporta, explores all of these paths. Tyson argues that humans are a custodial species whose role is to protect the land and its beings. To take this role, we need to reconnect with the life of the land. This contradicts the idea of the “selfish gene”, which presumes a natural state of competition between species. It also challenges the concept of homo faber, “man the maker” and proposes an alternative: homo curare, humans as carers.

Do you have a story that would contribute to this journey? It might involve:

  • Festivals that celebrate a seasonal presence
  • Making that honours its material
  • Structures such as gardens that enable species to flourish
  • Objects that tell a story of mutual dependence

You can submit your ideas here (or below). For more information and examples, please see our Trello board.


  • 1 January deadline for your ideas
  • 1 February deadline for text and images
  • 1 March publication
  • 31 March 5pm “What thinker-makers can tell us about nature” yarn at Melbourne Design Week (details soon)