Fluid encounters: more-than-human, more-than-terrestrial interactions in a new coastal master-planned development (14624)
This paper seeks to explore the ‘more-than-human’, ‘more-than-terrestrial’ lived experiences of residents in a new coastal master-planned estate. Master-planned estates are a now prominent form of housing sprawling populations in existing suburbia. Due to the availability of greenfield land and the demand for natural settings, master-planned estates are increasingly emerging in rural and coastal areas. Marketed with the promise of a life connected to nature, it is important then to explore the conduct of residents in these settings: how they interact with, and understand, the built and natural environment. I investigate the everyday practices of residents in a new estate beside the coast, focussing particularly on the human-nature interactions that surface. Ongoing semi-structured walking interviews with residents are being conducted to investigate human-nature and ‘human-water’ interactions in the home, garden and the surrounding beach environment. Results suggest that while residents are influenced by the restricting presence of estate regulation and design measures, their practices towards nature are largely informed by co-habitation. Nonhumans – animal, plant, mineral and element – are found to both collude with, and challenge, human intent. In so doing, this research combines understandings of the ‘more-than-human home’1 and a material imagination of the ‘four elements’2 to consider home-making as a collaborative enterprise between human and nonhuman. Moreover, this research endeavours to contribute to the human geographies of water and the oceans; noting the active, agential and affective roles of the coastal environment that emerge from co-habitation.
- Power, E. R. (2009). Border-processes and homemaking: encounters with possums in suburban Australian homes. Cultural Geographies, 16(1), 29–54.
- Steele, W. E., & Vizel, I. (2014). Housing and the Material Imagination – Earth, Fire, Air and Water. Housing, Theory and Society, 31(1), 76–90.