Young People and Care for Nonhuman Species: Designing immersive and interactive experiences that promote care

Project dates: 01/01/2021 - Ongoing

This research project considers creative methodologies and immersive and interactive spaces for their potential to impact young people’s understanding of environmental issues facing other species. Built on previous research that involved partnerships with wildlife carers, an interdisciplinary creative research approach has been taken to allow for the design and implementation of positive immersive spaces in which children interact with problems of wildlife survival, bushfire, climate change, and human interference. This project interprets Maria Puig de la Bellacasa’s ‘Speculative Care Ethics’ for its potential as a creative research approach to interaction design. One that may invite responsible and response-able responsiveness from users, in their understandings of environmental risks for other species.

This resulted in a range of artistic outcomes such as ‘Shelter in Place’, an interactive room set up in HOTA (Home of the Arts) Children’s Gallery (2021), inclusive of wall projections and a large interactive floor that asked children to design bushfire-retardant face masks for wildlife. It also included surrounding ‘care craft’ tables where children were able to design their own wildlife assistance devices and face masks. Research into this project contributed to questions surrounding whether serious games and interaction design could educate children and young audiences in environmental and wildlife care techniques through creative thinking skills.

The first creative outcome to result from this project was the ‘Prosthetics for a Changing Climate’ digital artwork and interactive app, which premiered at ACM 2020, Florida (USA), and Fall for the Book Festival 2020, Virginia (USA). This work was a precursor to ‘Shelter in Place’ (2021), as it asked users to digitally design bushfire-retardant face masks for wildlife. A ‘Hypertext’ version of the app experimented with using its interface to tell autobiographical stories concerning experiences of the 2020 bushfires in Australia. Research into this project contributed to questions surrounding whether digital storytelling and interaction design could elicit care towards the environment and wildlife.

More recently, this project has resulted in the ‘CurioCreatures’ artwork, a collaboration with external artist Dr Jason Nelson of the University of Bergen, Norway, which was shown at Curiocity Festival, Brisbane in 2022 and aimed at a child/family audience, and ‘Impossible Creatures’, a collaboration with Dr Jason Nelson which was shown at Science Gallery Detroit/Michigan State University Museum, the MSU STEM Teaching & Learning Facility, MSU Library, and (SCENE) Metrospace in 2022-2023 and aimed at an audience of 17-25 year olds. Both of these artworks used locative media and personal screen/environment interaction to evocate notions of climate change and the future impacts on other species. An email system implemented within the works allowed audiences to narrate their care practices by sharing stories.


Chief Investigators

Other Team Members

Shelter in Place Curator: Caitlin Pijpers Project Manager: Sarah Lewis Physical Computing: Clinton Freeman
CurioCreatures Curator: Jay Younger Project Manager: Sally McRae
Impossible Creatures Curator: Mark Sullivan With printing support from: Abbie Stevens


  • Shelter in Place received support from Home of the Arts and was implemented in the ‘World Upside Down’ exhibition
  • CurioCreatures received support from Queensland Museum and was implemented in ‘Curiocity Festival’
  • Impossible Creatures received support from MSU Galleries and was shown as a satellite exhibition to the 1.5° Celsius exhibition.



  1. HOTA. (2021). World Upside Down. HOTA.
  2. Krauth, A., & Nelson, J. (2021). CurioCreatures. CurioCreatures.
  3. World Science Festival Brisbane. (2022, January 19). CurioCreatures. World Science Festival Brisbane.
  4. MSU Museum. (2022). 1.5° Celsius. Museum MSU.
  5. Krauth, A (2020) ‘Prosthetics for a Changing Climate’, ACM Hypertext Media Art Exhibition: Climates of Change. University of Central Florida Gallery, Florida. Curators: Anastasia Salter & Jason Nelson.
  6. Krauth, A (2020) ‘Prosthetics for a Changing Climate’, Fall for the Book Festival Exhibition. George Mason University, Virginia. Curators: Fall for the Book Festival.