Imagining Multispecies Worlds

Designing engagements with animals to find, imagine, or emphasize non-speciesist practices


(for citation references see my Google Scholar Profile)

Journal Publications

Westerlaken, M. (2021). The telltale worlds of the octopuse-flux. LINK.

Westerlaken, M. (2021). It matters what designs design designs: Speculations on multispecies worldingGlobal Discourse, 11(1-2), 137-155. PREPRINT (forthcoming), LINK.

Westerlaken, M. (2020). What is the opposite of speciesism? On relational care ethics and illustrating multi-species-ismsInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 41(3/4), 522-540. PREPRINT, LINK

Westerlaken, M. (2017). Uncivilizing the future: Imagining non-speciesismAntae – Special Issue on Utopian Perspectives, 4(1), 53-67. PDFLINK

Gómez Maureira, M.A., Westerlaken, M., Janssen, D., Gualeni, S., and Calvi, L. (2014). Improving level design through game user research: A comparison of methodologies. Entertainment Computing, Elsevier, 5(4), 463-473. LINK

Book Chapters

Westerlaken, M. (2018). When game mechanics come crawling out of ant colonies. In Games and Rules Game Mechanics for the “Magic Circle”, Beat Suter, Mela Kocher, René Bauer (eds.), Bielefeld, DE: Transcript Verlag. LINK.

Gollonitsch, K., and Westerlaken, M. (2017). Beyond yarn-balls & squeaking bones: Inviting animals as co-players and co-designers. In Welt der Spiele 360°, 31-51, Krems, AT:  Donau Universität Krems. LINK

Conference Proceedings

Westerlaken, M. (2017). Self-fashioning in action: Zelda’s Breath of the Wild vegan runProceedings of the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, (Krakow, PL, November 28-30). PDF, LINK

Westerlaken, M. and Gualeni, S. (2017). A dialogue concerning ‘doing philosophy with and within computer games’ – or: Twenty rainy minutes in KrakowProceedings of the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, (Krakow, PL, November 28-30). PDF, LINK

Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. (2016). Becoming with: Towards the inclusion of animals as participants in design processesProceedings of the Animal Computer Interaction Conference, ACM Press, (Milton Keynes, UK, November 14-15). PDF, LINK

Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. (2016). Situated knowledges and game design: A transformative exercise with antsProceedings of  the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, (Valletta, MLT, November 1-4). PDF, LINK

Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. (2014). Felino: The philosophical practice of making an interspecies videogame. Proceedings of  the Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, (Istanbul, TUR, November 13-15). PDF, LINK

Westerlaken, M. Playful animals: An invitation to participate. (2016). Extended Abstract in Proceedings of Digra/FDG (Dundee, UK, August 1-6). PDF, LINK

Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. (2014). Grounded zoomorphism: An evaluation methodology for ACI design. Proceedings of ACE’14 Workshop on Animal Human Computer Interaction, ACM Press, (Madeira, PRT, November 11-14). PDF, LINK

Westerlaken, M., and Camilleri, A. (2014). User testing an interspecies videogame. Proceedings of NordiCHI’14 Workshop on Animal Computer Interaction, ACM Press, (Helsinki, FIN, October 26-30). PDF

Gómez Maureira, M.A., Janssen, D., Gualeni, S., Westerlaken, M., and Calvi, L. (2013). Comparing game user research methodologies for the improvement of level design in a 2-D platformerAdvances in Computer Entertainment, 77-92. (Twente, The Netherlands, November 13-15). LINK

Westerlaken, M., and Gualeni, S. (2013). Digitally complemented zoomorphism: A theoretical foundation for human-animal interaction designProceedings of Conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces (DPPI ’13), ACM Press, (Newcastle, UK, September 3 – 5). PDFLINK

Other Peer Reviewed Publications

Sandelin, E. and Westerlaken, M. (2021). Critical animal design: Contesting human exceptionalism in design research. Abstract/Presentation at the 7th European Association for Critical Animal Studies Conference

Westerlaken, M. (2021). Encountering monsters in virtual worlds, Abstract/Presentation at the Digital Ecologies Conference, University of Cambridge. LINK.

Westerlaken, M. (2020). Telling multispecies worlds: Traces of a counter-concept to speciesism, Abstract/Presentation at European Association for the Study of Science and Technology Conference (EASST). PDF.

Hillgren, P.-A., Lindström, K., Strange, M., Witmer, H., Chronaki, A., Ehn, P., … Westerlaken, M. (2020). Glossary: Collaborative future-makingA Glossary curated by the Collaborative Future Making research network, pp 1-34. LINK.

Sandelin, E. and Westerlaken, M. (2019). After the revolution: Prototyping post-speciesist futures. Abstract/Presentation at the 6th European Association for Critical Animal Studies Conference (presented by Erik Sandelin). PDF.

Westerlaken, M. (2018). Imagining non-speciesism. Abstract/Presentation at the Rethinking Animality Conference (Santiago de Compostela, SP, September 26-28). PDF, LINK.

Westerlaken, M. (2018). Speciesism. Genealogy entry on the Critical Posthumanism Network. PDF, LINK

Public Speaking

Speaker at Cardiff University, Guest lecture at the Synergetic Landscapes Unit, June 2021.

Speaker at Klang Games, Lunch talk on Imagining Multispecies Worlds, November 2020.

PhD Defense, Malmö University (Sweden), Department of Culture and Society (K3), September 2020. (discussant: Andrew Morrison). LINK

90% PhD Seminar, Malmö University (Sweden), Department of Culture and Society (K3), March 2020. (discussant: Alex Taylor).

Speaker at the WUD Silesia Design Conference, Katowice (Poland), invited conference speaker, November 2019. VIDEO RECORDING

Speaker at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (Germany), Guest Lecture in the MA program in Media Dramaturgy course “Filming animals: media practices after the human.” January 2019. LINK

50% PhD Seminar, Malmö University (Sweden), Department of Culture and Society (K3), May 2018. (discussant: Jonas Löwgren).

Keynote Speaker at the Zürich GameZ & RuleZ conference (Switzerland), November 2017. LINK

Speaker at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong), guest lecture in the MSc program in Multimedia & Entertainment Technology, September 2017. LINK

Speaker at Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach (California), public talk, July 2017. LINK

Speaker at Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), guest expert at the graduate studies Design for Animals Lab, June 2017. LINK

25% PhD Seminar, Malmö University (Sweden), Department of Culture and Society (K3), May 2017. (discussant: Maria Hellström Reimer). LINK

Speaker at the University of Skövde (Sweden), guest lecture at the Department of Media, Technology, and Culture, February 2017. LINK

Speaker at Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach (California), public talk, July 2016. LINK

Speaker at University of Malta Institute of Digital Games in Malta, public talk at the Game Lecture Series, April 2016. LINK

Speaker at the 9th Future and Reality of Gaming Conference in Vienna (Austria), invited conference speaker, October 2015. LINK

Keynote speaker at the Game Happens Conference in Genova (Italy), June 2015. LINK

Interviews, Panels, and Workshops

The Animal Turn (forthcoming). Podcast interview with Claudia Hirtenfelder. LINK.

Beyond Species. Podcast interview with Stephen Dent. January 2021. LINK.

How to Include Animals in the Design Process. Podcast interview with Bartłomiej Michalski and Łukasz Januszek. November 2019. LINK

More-than-human. Workshop host at the Imagining Collaborative Future Making conference at Malmö University, November 2019. LINK

Research Through Breakfast. Panel member at Storm Innovation Hub at Malmö University. January 2019.LINK

Designers Against Animal Oppression. Medea Vox Podcast. December 2018. LINK

Knowing Animals Podcast. Interview with Siobhan O’Sullivan. September 2018. LINK

Des Jeux Vidéo pour Animaux. Interview with Swiss newspaper ‘La Liberté’ (written by Vincent Bürgy). December 2017. LINK

Workshop organizer – Representations of Dragons in Videogames. Hong Kong Polytechnic University. October 4th 2017. LINK

Beyond the Game – Playful Pets with Michelle Westerlaken. Interview with Indie Toaster (written by Alessandro Cossidente). May 2017. LINK

Games on Games: Game Design as Critical Reflexive Practice. Panel member at the 10th Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Msdia (MLT), November 1-4 2014. LINK 

A MAZE. Magazine No. 4 Animals. Animals as Players: Rethinking Relationships with Animals In Captivity. 2016. LINK

Workshop organizer at the 12th Student Interaction Design Research Conference (SIDeR). Micro Gamejam: Exploring Playful Relationships Between Humans and Insects. April 2, 2016, Malmö (SE). LINK

Wie Hund und Katz mit Computern Spielen. Interview with ORF. 2015. LINK

Malmö University website. (2015). Designing for Animals – Master Student Internationally Recognized. LINK

Independent Game Philosophers Panel. Panel member at the 8th Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Istanbul (TUR) November 13-15 2014. LINK

The New Scientist. (2014). Lassie Gets an Upgrade. LINK

Brewed Magazine. (2014). Felino. Because Cats Love Games too. LINK


Westerlaken, M. (2020). Imagining Multispecies Worlds. Doctoral dissertation, Malmö University (Sweden). PDF, LINK

Westerlaken, M. (2015). Exploring the Mediating Role of Playful Technological Artefacts Designed for Animals and Humans. Thesis for the MSc in Interaction Design at Malmö University. LINK

Westerlaken, M. (2014). A New User Testing Methodology for Digitally Mediated Human-Animal Interaction. Thesis for the MSc in Interaction Design at Malmö University. LINK

Westerlaken, M. (2012). Design Methodologies for Embodied Play in Canine Digital Interaction. Thesis for the Master in Media Innovation at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, available on request.

One comment on “Publications

  1. Pingback: Felino – Videogame Playtesting with Cats | Technologically Mediated Animal Interaction

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