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Towards the Alter-person

By Zeynep Kiris

MFA Communications Design, ’22

This thesis seeks to investigate the essence of anthropocentric frameworks, explore and challenge humans’ perceptions of nonhuman forms of intelligence through symbolic, expedient, or advocatory representations, and study the effects in understanding nonhuman personhood and ethical frameworks these perceptions have. As a better understanding of the connection between exposure to and awareness of nonhuman persons is gathered, it aims to adjust existing paradigms and potentially introduce new ones in hopes of creating design approaches that are species-neutral. This thesis ultimately intends to explore ways to modify the behaviors and viewpoints of humans’ towards nonhumans and bring forth a wider acknowledgment of natural and synthetic interdependence through design.