In the Garden of Anthropos

Conservation after Artificial Intelligence


  • Katerina Labrou MIT
  • Christos Montsenigos McGill University



The term ‘planetary garden’ was coined by Gilles Clement to refer to the privileged site of the planetary mixing of species that is managed by humans. In the face of the ongoing environmental collapse, we envision the garden as a new locus for symbiotic attachment and original exchange between human and non-human ecologies. Drawing on the garden metaphor, we discuss the conceptual and ecological impacts of human stewardship of the environment. Recognising ecosystems as changing fields of social and technical interactions, we evaluate how conservation strategies shift in tandem with these changes. We explore the influence of emerging technologies on human understanding of natural ecosystems and on societal approaches to conservation. Envisioning the future, we are mapping out the need for human-centric technologies to foster new forms of agency between humans and their environments. While any technological promise does not come without ethical and technical challenges, we advocate for ecological intelligence (EI), a spatialised human-AI collaboration scheme, as a critical condition for reimagining and upscaling conservation practices in the Anthropocene.

Author Biographies

Katerina Labrou, MIT

Katerina Labrou is a designer and researcher at MIT. With studies in architecture, design computation and computer science, her work explores the intersection of artificial intelligence, computational creativity and human-computer interaction. As a research associate at the Local Code Lab, operating between MIT and Northeastern University, she is actively involved in developing AI-powered collaborative design tools aimed at enabling informal communities to engage in planning for resilient urbanization.

Christos Montsenigos, McGill University

Christos Montsenigos is an architect and researcher, currently pursuing a PhD in architecture at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University. Supported by the Onassis Foundation and a Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation Fellowship for Excellence in Graduate Education, his current work focuses on the entangled histories of empire, conservation, environmental science, and landscape design in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


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