Our favorite visionary designer Fritz Haeg is at it once again, this time with the launch of Animal Estates, the much-anticipated follow up to his Edible Estates of the past few years (2005 to present) and whose official book release, Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, is tomorrow, February 1st. The 2008 Whitney Biennial will feature the first peek at Animal Estates, an eight site project that examines dwellings for animals and critters that have been displaced or shunned from man-made habitats and settlements. Whether creating art in a manicured suburban front yard, at the local strip mall, or in a city parking lot, Haeg proposes to construct customized dwellings or model homes that will encourage the resettlement of animal species in neighborhoods that would otherwise be devoid of native fauna.

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The Animal Estates regional model homes will serve as protoypes for the artist and participants to examine effective ways of re-introducing indigenous species back into altered habitats. Both native and domesticated animals will be considered, and a local zoologist or conservationist will serve as a consultant for the construction of each ecologically sensitive and site-specific dwelling. The entire resettlement process will be documented by a photographer and/or videographer who will track all developments at the site. This is not an instance of biomimicry per se, (which we have covered here before at Inhabitat), but of a genuine look at how we might better integrate and collaborate with animals in the world around us as a means to better understand a dynamic for coexisting in the future.

Animal Estates have been commissioned by the following local art institutions:

1.0: New York, NY / March 6th – June 1st, 2008 / Whitney Biennial 2008 2.0: Austin, TX / March 2008 / Arthouse 3.0: Cambridge, MA / April 2008 / Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT 4.0: Baltimore, MD / May 2008 / Contemporary Museum Baltimore 5.0: San Francisco, CA / July 2008 / SF MoMA 6.0: Utrecht, The Netherlands / September 2008 / Casco Projects 7.0: Portland, OR / August 2008 / Cooley Gallery at Reed College 8.0: Anchorage, AK / October 2008 / Alaska Design Forum

+ Animal Estates + Fritz Haeg + Edible Estates: ‘How to Eat Your Lawn’ on Inhabitat + Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, the book + 2008 Whitney Biennial