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The Critters Black Den
The Critters Black Den

What will be the implications of a reinvented multispecies coexistence? What types of materiality and consequently aesthetics will arise from a deeper understanding of the inseparable threads that connect all of us, humans and non-humans, together?

Critters Black Den is an attractor for different aquatic insects, like dragonflies, that are invited to perch on the structure, and at the same time it is a pavilion designed for a music festival in Thailand.

The study refers to a research on dragonflies’ polarized vision, which makes them confuse smooth black surfaces as bodies of water, generating what is defined as anthropogenic traps. Therefore, the pavilion uses different assemblies of recycled bright black plastic and electronic waste, assembled from geometric studies of successful natural perching points, connected to previously pruned wooden branches, which have also been painted in glossy black to attract insects and generate attention in their behaviors.

In times of ecological crisis, the objective of reimagining our connections to natural systems, not only from a pragmatic perspective, but also at a playful, cultural and social level, could be considered of paramount importance. Likewise, by placing these explorations in specific and accessible contexts, a new participation supported by tangible and positive experiences may be encouraged.

For the Critters Black Den, the development of the prototypes of artificial flowers and plants required the collaboration with biologists and entomologists, widening the typical “co-habitation” between designers and actors who are alien to discipline.

Conceiving the space and its details as varied artificial natures, the project communicates a different hierarchy among species, and, in turn, it proposes to imagine and test a type of spatial co-existence inviting to conceive new forms of conviviality.

The Critters Black Den
The Critters Black Den

Pattaya, Thailand


Matteo Marabelli
Junior designer
Tikumpom Panichakan
Ayaka Sato
Animali Domestici

The Critters Black Den

Animali Domestici
Antonio Bernacchi Alicia Lazzaroni