Methods for Mammals is the methodology, research, and consultancy wing of research-art atelier Mammalian Diving Reflex. We exist to share our data, insights, and knowledge with every single entity in the universe.
We can study your situation, its particular relationship to the social surroundings, analyze and interpret what we find and offer recommendations for action in the form of moments, activities, events and programs.
We can design and implement moments, activities, events and programs that last a minute, a day, a year, a decade or a lifetime in order to create a positive, productive and creative environment, whether that environment be a team, office, organization, neighborhood, city, region, country, continent, hemisphere, planet, solar system, galaxy or universe.
We are experienced with working with people who may not feel like they’re of much value: kids who aren’t loving school, the elderly who no one wants to listen to, small businesses operating in the shadows of massive monopolies, people who are new to a city, town or region, people who don’t speak the dominant language, people who don’t look like the people on TV, people who don’t have the time to figure out how to fit in. We value people in these situations because they have very precious and important knowledge; they are the gold in our work and making them know they’re golden is our job.
Workshops – we provide the basic principles of Social Acupuncture and turn social discomfort into a fitness exercise for the soul.
Team building – we coach a group of people through a complex social experience, much more unnerving that what’s offered by your typical climbing gym or whitewater rafting excursion, and bring them out the other side as a more cohesive and loyal team.
Organization assessment – we can examine an organization from the perspective of our principles, look for imbalance and offer strategies to flatten hierarchies and raise dedication. Mammalian Diving Reflex has four Directors reporting to the Board and three of them assumed this responsibility in their late 20s. We know how to nurture a solid team of equals from a very young age.
Facilitating public consultation and participation – we’re very, very expert at facilitating difficult discussions and incorporating conflicting points of view to produce a unified vision through labour-intensive consensus.
Community building – all of our work leaves behind good vibes and a complex array of connections, with community defined as people who share geographic space, whether that’s an office, neighbourhood, city, or region.
We are insane idealists who believe that we’ve been entrusted with a mission by a coterie of incorporeal heavenly entities who slip us instructions written on the back of imaginary napkins that we find scattered around the corners of our imagination. But, unlike the insane idealist of yesteryear, we don’t have anything to do with that dust-encrusted word ‘revolution.’ Instead we’ve hitched our hopes for social change on the concept of phase shift, working tirelessly to produce conducive conditions for the emergence of new, surprising, generous and equitable social forms. We don’t have much faith in the human mammal to centrally plan more equitable macro social structures, however we do have faith in the micro-social actions of generous individuals who can produce a phase shift in the system and drive us up and out of this grossly inequitable basin of attraction and into one where candy will fall from the sky.
London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), United Kingdom
Metropolregion Rhine-Neckar, Germany
Kultur Ruhr/Rurtriennale, Germany
West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong
The Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
Methods for Mammals is led by Mammalian’s founder and Artistic & Research Director, Darren O’Donnell. Darren is an urban, social and cultural planner, novelist, essayist, playwright, director, designer and performer. His books include: Social Acupuncture (2006), which argues for aesthetics of civic engagement and Your Secrets Sleep with Me (2004), a novel about difference, love and the miraculous.