Reciprocal Artifacts is a series of design investigations focused on generating topological and material reciprocity between anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric spatial ontologies within a single artifact. Expanding on the role of the artifact as both, indexical of and emergent from the circumstances leading to its formation, this research posits that artifacts are more than a vestigial product of expansive processes at work. They are the means by which relationships between these circumstances and processes find expression. Reciprocity, between multiple agents or systems, is the degree to which each can perturb or irritate the environment of another, eliciting transformative responses and adaptations. Reciprocal artifacts are formed through mutual perturbations that generate integrated and co-evolutionary effects.
The subset of findings presented at the 2015 ACADIA Conference is a collection of artifacts produced through the merging of two divergent physiogenic spatial ontologies: spatial enclosure in the form of three-dimensional boundary/edge conditions, and biological (arboreal) continuities derived from their taxonometric morphologies. The resulting artifacts are not singularly anthropogenic in their formation, definition, and material assembly; nor are they centered, motivated, or evaluated by human experience and human affordance. Rather, these studies ground both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic forms of creativity in a mutually foreign and equally representational computational environment. They explore questions of how design processes built from both human and nonhuman actors develop agency and expression.