In 1972, Donella Meadows led an interdisciplinary team at MIT to produce The Limits to Growth report. The report was developed using computer modelling to speculate the limits of the Earth’s resources in relation to human population and industrial production growth rates at the time. What the report concluded was that limits would be reached sometime within the subsequent 100 years—of either the planet’s resources, or civilization—if growth were to continue at the high rate. Fifty years since the report was published, where are we in this prediction? Our global population has doubled and industrial production has intensified. What will the situation be in another fifty years?
2072: Mediated Materiality and Possible Futures is a group reflection on the present ecological moment, and a social dream for the future. In this exhibition, nine student projects focused on materiality, sustainability, and future fragility contemplate how renewing human relationships to waste might give way to more just, healthy, and balanced futures. In these projects, we question the place of critical and slow design in resisting the unsustainability of consumerist capitalist culture, and dream of new alliances and kinships which promote and make way for wellbeing which extends within and beyond the more-than-human world.
With: Katie-May Ardnt, Violette Arnaud, Frederic Bigras-Burrogano, Claire Dubuy-Riou, Tom Dullin, Sara Kariminejad, Inès Marmonier, Mahla Mohammad Nia, Yichen Wang
Katie-May Ardnt: Once, Again identifies and works with local sources of low-value textile waste as a starting point. The project attempts to articulate processes to transform and recirculate these residues as new materials. Through traditional rag papermaking techniques, Once, Again explores the shifting of media, and the changing cultural value of textiles through historic and contemporary contexts.
Violette Arnaud and Claire Dubuy-Riou: Bio Plastic Exploration is an explorative research around bioplastic using waste, and compost. The objective is to develop a series of multiple bioplastic sheet samples that serve as a bibliography and point of departure for making assembled pieces. This exploration aims to show an alternative to textiles and plastics. A vest and a bag will be presented to show the different possibilities of bioplastic.
Frederic Bigras-Burrogano: The Dying Sea explores the possibility of using fish bones (regarded as waste in industrial food production) instead of cattle bones in the creation of bone china. Bone china is a type of porcelain that incorporates bone ash with other types of clay in its creation, thus resulting in slightly translucent objects. The hypothesis is that the bones will sublimate which will leave the plate perforated. This is meant to act as a metaphor to the overfishing of the Atlantic Cod and its almost disappearance. The Dying Sea is an interrogation of what it means to collaborate with matter in a non-hierarchical way.
Tom Dullin: Circle focuses on a way to reintroduce coffee ground into the consumption cycle of coffee.The process would be part of the Nespresso already existing recycling process: The aluminium is used to create new objects and the coffee ground as fertilizer. It brings the approach of using coffee grounds not as a waste but as a material opportunity to create Nespresso's accessories such as capsule dispensers.
Sara Kariminejad: From Avocado to Earrings explores how avocados and onion waste can transform into ornamental objects. The project examines how to turn food waste into valuable and useful objects. In fact, the purpose of this exploratory research is to think more about the food waste that we produce every day, to work on it, and to come up with innovative ways to rethink, redesign and reuse it in the future.
Inès Marmonier: A Decline in Fast Fashion considers what others consider waste to create something new is a great start to slowing down fashion on my end. I will help others by providing resources they can use to sew themselves while campaigning to educate consumers on methods of becoming more aware consumers. Thus, I will create an online zine–catalogue–with available patterns for people to replicate what I have done.
Mahla Mohammad Nia: Urban Bio-furniture is a speculative investigation in urban sustainability. One of the main problems of cities is the local increase of air temperatures due to the rise of carbon dioxide. While management programs focus on controlling carbon dioxide emissions, this project proposes the integration of microalgae furniture that reduces CO2 at the level of the built environment, a potential to improve the quality of life in urban public spaces.
Yichen Wang: The Bunker House is a video game that uses visual and auditory storytelling to invite participants to an underground home centered around sustainable practices. From investigating materials and textures where the artist inhabits to recreating the materiality of everyday surfaces and objects in their worn and rusty form, The Bunker House attempts to criticize current ways of living and speculate on less materialist futures.
About the Critical Mediations Series:
A large part of practice-based research transpires in form and in the experience of sensory perception. What happens when the studio and its material practices move to public space? How can research-creation in the making be communicated and experienced? This activity aims at questioning practice in relation to materials and materiality; objects, technologies, media and techniques; and socio-environmental topics. Students will present their projects and research under beta forms, and give a public account of their work and methods. Groups will develop feedback loops between the practical and theoretical ideas catalyzed in the seminar. This format aims at renewing the conditions in which creation takes place, is exhibited, and communicated. The activity will involve workshops, round-tables, and open discussion.