Synanthropia: Redressing the Anthropocentrism of Architecture
Our relationship with the goat, when it began 10,000 years ago was intertwined into our daily lives. This relationship has changed dramatically in relatively recent times, as our contemporary generation has lost touch with the animal.
This thesis addresses the sensitivities and disconnections in relation to the proximity and interaction with the animal, and proposes an animal architecture that reintroduces the beast at agrarian, retail, domestic and public scales.
The Arapawa Island goat originated from two goats brought to the island in the Marlborough Sounds by Captain James Cook in the late 18th Century. Now considered a feral animal by the Department of Conservation (DOC), the Arapawa Island goat is the only remnant of the extinct Old English goat, and, as a result of DOC-sanctioned culling is now an endangered part of New Zealand's living colonial heritage.
This thesis investigates how the controversially threatened heritage breed and its particular physical characteristics and abilities can inform an animal-oriented architecture and the productivity of a suburban farming scheme. It questions how the introduction of the Arapawa Island goat into a golf course in central Devonport can lead to a series of architectural responses that emerge from the circumstances where people meet an animal, their subsequent relationships and the necessary negotiations of space in the context of a golf course and practicalities of a functioning goat farm.
The design proposition is an experimental typology that uses a suburban golf course landscape as a means to bridge the conditions between the urban and the rural. It intends to redress and establish sociological and educational relationships through the development of a suburban goat farm that facilitates the recombination of human and animal via the cross-species occupation of architecture.