Interview: DODOLAB (Canada)
Interview Duration:25 mins
DodoLab is an art and design based program lead by Lisa Hirmer and Andrew Hunter that researches, engages and responds to contemporary community challenges, with a particular focus on the natural world, social systems, the built environment and cities in transition. They employ creative public interventions that are truly collaborative, encourage and evolve out of dialogue and critical reflection, and that strive for tangible and meaningful outcomes. DodoLab is consistently interested in the barriers to adaptation and change and engaging the public in public through projects that involve individuals and organizations who bring a diversity of experience and expertise. DodoLab’s always evolving methods of engagement reflect Hirmer and Hunter’s backgrounds in art, design, architecture, education, writing, image making and installation. DodoLab uses the archetypal extinct species as its name/logo as a reminder that we need to consider the risks of isolated and narrowly defined adaptive strategies (the Dodo could not survive outside of its predator free island environment). Are we “Dead as a Dodo” or potentially “Going the way of the Dodo” if we do not learn to adapt and change and work together? The dodo reminds us that a lack of resiliency and a solo existence is a precarious strategy for survival. For generations, the Dodo has also been understood to have been a slow, lazy, glutinous bird with limited intelligence. It is now believed that this large flightless bird may have actually been reasonably intelligent and active and that the unflattering characteristics usually associated with the bird may have been the result of encounters with overfed, captive species – basically, specimens living in an artificial, human designed environment of overabundance. Our logo was designed by Canadian cartoonist Seth. DodoLab is supported by Musagetes Foundation and enhanced by commissioned collaborations with individuals and organizations in Canada and Internationally (including universities, municipalities, social service organizations and the arts).