HydroSpheres: co-design for landscape decision-making

Landscapes are shaped through a complex web of interactions among decision-makers and stakeholders. Mapping these conflicts and diverse values is central to understanding everyday decision-making in heavily managed hydrological landscapes.  The HydroSpheres network brings academics from hydrology, geomorphology, environmental humanities, literature, performance, and design together with landscape decision-makers to explore the use of  interdisciplinary co-design methods to deconstruct the decision-making process itself and develop new models that enhance the ways in which we manage landscapes in the UK. Participants will collectively explore their own preconceptions about landscape decision-making and envision new ways of capturing different understandings of landscape value.

The network will host a series of researcher-stakeholder workshops exploring the distributed nature, changing dynamics, and legacies of decision-making in landscapes marginal hydrological landscapes. Using co-design methods (design fictions, storytelling, scenario planning, performance) the network will seek to establish a transformative agenda for the integration of the human with the quantitative in future landscape decision-making. The themes of these ‘landscape laboratories’ will be:

  • Decision-maker perceptions: how can co-design practices help uncover the hidden landscapes of stakeholder relationships with the environment?
  • Public understandings: what can co-design and co-creation offer in terms of making landscape decisions more transparent and accessible?
  • Capturing landscape value: values, priorities and opinions evolve constantly both as a consequence of and despite the outcomes of decision-making processes. How can these subtle and complex shifts be captured and incorporated into management review, evaluation and forward planning?
  • Future decision-making: what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges have been identified for the contribution of arts-based co-design to future landscape decision-making? What further research needs to be done, and what are the barriers to taking these approaches forward?
Project website www.hydrospheres.net
https://www.wildsheffield.com/discover/your-community/sheffield-lakeland-landscape-partnership/
Link to the project page on the UKRI Gateway to Research https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=AH%2FT006056%2F1