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From Digital Nature Hybrids to Digital Naturalists: Reviving Nature Connections Through Arts, Technology and Outdoor Activities

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This work considers how the arts and technology in combination can stimulate connections in heritage gardens, and also nurture care for non-human nature. The chapter divides into two overlapping parts. The first part describes and critiques the design of Digital Nature Hybrid artifacts for interpreting gardens and exploring nature. The second part builds on the first by showing how the challenges presented by the Digital Nature Hybrids stimulated the design of Digital Naturalist workshops. It shows the value of combining arts, digital technologies and outdoor activities to support active engagements with non-human nature and to inspire the development of knowledge and skills needed to attend to natural environments. Research through design underpins the way of working and the project uses a critical approach toward technology, to guide the design decisions. One of the insights is the value that adopting this critical approach has in shaping both processes and designs.