Kathryn Fleming: Designing the evolution of animals

US designer Kathryn Fleming explores various ways in which animals and humans could co-evolve in the future.

Kathryn Fleming is an American multidisciplinary designer who is exploring the possibilities of animal evolution in a future determined by human beings. In this video interview, Fleming reveals the motivation and design thinking behind her imaginative projects.

With a background in design interactions, Fleming imagines various ways in which species could evolve in the future, in the wake of animal extinction. According to her, it is projected that half of the nine million known species will go extinct by the end of the century.

Fleming says her work aims to “design animals back into our everyday lives.”

In her graduation project, she created three fictional mutated creatures, namely the Beaked Porcupine, the Mirror Beast and the Superbivore. The point of the project is to raise awareness about animals’ ability to adapt to changing man-made environments and to encourage us to think about the co-evolution of humans and other animals. 

From a design perspective, Fleming believes that animals’ unique attributes have a profound impact on our imaginations, whether we realise it or not. She finds that they are able to stretch the boundaries of what is possible and inspire new ways of thinking.

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