This workshop invites participants to bring out and tackle irrational other-than-human animal fears through crafting. The aim is to reduce biophobia, and encourage in its place biophilia and nature connection (Kellert & Wilson, 1993). The process has its roots in exposure therapy with the core protocol that one should ‘go towards that which you are afraid of’ (Wilson, 2012).
In spending time reflecting on the features of one’s fear, and drawing, cutting and sewing a cuddly version of it, there is keen potential to shift from a negative to a positive belief system. The resultant artefact prolongs the exposure experience, serving in intention to reduce the twin phobia components – fear and disgust (Richard & Lauterbach, 2006), before becoming a memento, a souvenir that commemorates one’s taming of a personal monster.
Monster Love forms part of a practice-based research programme undertaken by Sarah Johnson, a Design PhD student at Kingston School of Art. Participants will be requested to undertake a brief ‘connection to nature’ task pre- and post-workshop, and complete a short debriefing questionnaire/interview.
Research design will be given full ethics clearance by Kingston University ahead of the workshop. Sarah’s research is funded by the London Doctoral Design Centre and can be found here.