This paper outlines Andrew Quitmeyer’s PhD work developing a design framework for interacting with wild creatures and biological field work.
This research aims to develop and evaluate a design
framework for creating digital devices that support the
exploration of animal behaviors in the wild. This paper
quickly shares the main concepts and theories from the
fields forming Digital Naturalism’s foundation while
presenting the key challenges emerging from these critical
intersections between field biology and computational
media. It then reviews the development of this research’s
hybrid methodology designed specifically for its multi-year
series of “Qualitative Action Research” fieldwork carried
out at a rainforest field station.
This paper analyzes the resulting on-site ethnographies,
workshops, design projects, and interactive performances,
whose take-aways are synthesized into design guidelines
for digital-natural media. This framework, itself, is then
evaluated via an extra iteration of fieldwork and the results
discussed. Finally, the paper identifies targets for continued
research development. Further areas of interest are
presented which will promote Digital Naturalism’s
progression into its own topic of study.