An Exploration of the Contribution of Embodied, Situated Research Strategies to Cultural Ecosystem Services and Landscape Assessment Frameworks: An Environmental Empathy Case Study

Avant, Vol. XIII, No. 1,
published under license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Klara Łucznik1*orcid-id, Joane V. Serrano2orcid-id, & John Martin1orcid-id
1University of Plymouth, UK, 2University of the Philippines Open University, PH
*corresponding author:

Received 6 June 2020; accepted 28 February 2022; published 23 May 2022.
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Abstract: Since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005, interest has increased in cultural ecosystem services (CESs) research to understand the complexity of the non-material benefits that people obtain from ecosystems. The intangible and interactive characteristics of CESs present many challenges regarding how to approach, quantify and even define CESs. In this paper, we suggest looking at CESs through the lens of embodied and situated cognition theories. We advocate that such an approach should be applied to the development stage of CES research projects, as the embodied and situated experience of the site aids the development of research questions and future interventions. We described a case study—namely, the Environmental Empathy Research Challenge, which took place during the ColLaboratoire 2020 Research Residency in the Philippines. This case shows how interactive, embodied and situated workshops, such as Embodied Empathy and Walking Maps, contributed to developing a research proposal and a novel research framework, ecological embodied cognition (EEC). EEC focuses on the concept of environmental empathy to redefine the human-environment relationship. Further, based on an example of a participatory research activity, Sensing-Playing-Moving, we examined how interventions founded upon EEC principles enhance environmental empathy.

Keywords: environmental empathy; embodied cognition; situated cognition; CES; landscape; participatory research


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