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Factory farming or laboratory meat, cuddly pets or robots in animal form – the relationship between animals and humans is often the subject of hot dispute. How can humans and animals live together sustainably and what possibilities will technology and science open up in the future? Contemporary design has embarked on a revealing search for answers. Animals have always served an important purpose for humans – whether as food, scientific test object, hunting trophy or playmate. When they are used today as organ donors for humans, or are cultivated in laboratories, we have to ask whether these ‘creatures’ are even still animals at all.
For designers, the animal-human relationship opens up a broad field of activity. In the search for the ‘right balance’ they create products for animals and research possibilities of replacing animal-based raw materials and even the animal itself. At the same time they design scenarios that look into the future.