Synthetic Crystallisations – experiments across bio and digital technologies
The VU “Art, Design & Environmental Challenges” provided students with tools and design methods to investigate the effects of climate change on a material, digital and intellectual level and to apply them in design on a territorial as well as microscopic scale. This included relating satellite imagery and biological models to stimulate a design translation of these models.
The Alps evoke idyllic portraits of untouched nature with peaks, glaciers, lakes, and pastures. Yet paradoxically, the Alps also reflect the effects of climate change with startling clarity. The retreat of glaciers is perhaps the most striking phenomenon of all. Formations of geological time melting before our eyes. And with them disappears a storehouse of data, stored in the crystallized particles, each layer a year of history, a cycle of life.
This design research program dealt with alpine glacial landscapes from 3 main perspectives:
- Experimental: exploring with new bio-digital design processes for the production of synthetic landscapes.
- Artistic: highlighting the strong connection between these processes and the alpine landscapes from which they emerged. Discuss the current evolution of this relationship in light of the global climate crisis.
- Speculative: can these novel production processes provide solutions to address problems at a territorial scale? Can glaciers be synthetically “re-crystallized”?
The results of VU 2 “Art, Design & Environmental Challenges” were presented by the students at a digital vernissage. More in the video: