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sustainability

60 years ago, world leaders agreed to leave Antarctica free of war, weapons and nuclear waste. They declared that the uninhabited continent with no indigenous population, twice the size of Australia and 98% ice, should not belong to any country and instead be dedicated to community science. Additional rules to prevent companies from mining minerals and drilling for oil made Antarctica the largest protected area in the world. Now climate change is eroding that success story. ⁠ But higher temperatures aren't the only threat to the pristine natural environment; in recent years, the continent has become a contested territory, concealing resources that could prove irresistible in a world with an ever-growing population.⁠ ⁠ On the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, Antarctic Resolution offers a high-resolution image of this hyper-surveilled yet neglected continent. In contrast to the fragmented view offered by Big Data companies, the book is a holistic study of the continent’s unique geography, unparalleled scientific potential, contemporary geopolitical significance, experimental governance system, and extreme inhabitation model. A transnational network of multidisciplinary polar experts – represented in the form of authored texts, photographic essays, and data-based visual portfolios – reveals the intricate web of growing economic and strategic interests, tensions, and international rivalries, which are normally enveloped in darkness, as is the continent for six months of the year.   Buy...

For a long time, sustainable products had the reputation of being unsexy, aesthetically somewhere between a tie-dyed T-shirt and a haystack. But these times are fortunately over. Sustainability, longevity and circularity are not only in demand as properties, but also their visibility within the material.⁠ At ECAL students of product design, established materials specialists, manufacturers and researchers came together with the aim of exploring and defining the aesthetic potential of a new generation of sustainable materials. The result of this research-through-design project is a series of fourteen case studies involving the development of materials made from textile waste, recycled paper, rubber granulate or vegetable fibers such as algae, rice husks, hemp, flax and wood. The resulting new materials can be shaped, pressed, woven or welded and offer future designers a range of practical tools and applied knowledge about the methods of analyzing and processing seminal materials, utilizing their advantageous qualities and developing functional, yet aesthetically intriguing objects.⁠ Buy...

Do you know the work of Forensic Architecture? If not, then be prepared to get your mind blown! Connecting real cases of human rights and environmental violations with the tools used in architecture and design, this studio creates a Wolpertinger of art and real evidence which is then used in some of the biggest court cases and tribunals of recent years. ⁠ ⁠ From makeshift satellites constructed with a simple kite, a plastic bottle, some rubber band and a camera, documenting evidence of Bedouin inhabitation in the Negev desert where Bedouin ownership is contested; to reading the "fingerprints" of smoke clouds left behind by missile strikes; to training AI to identify teargas canisters in Hong Kong; to rebuilding whole rooms in 3D to verify the testimony of witnesses - Forensic Architecture is often challenged by voices declaring in an exhibition "This is evidence, not art!" or in a trial "This is art, not evidence!". Truth is, that exhibiting their work in art exhibitions draws international attention to cases that States or big corporations would only too gladly keep unnoticed. It helps victims be heard and get access to a public stage. It also sheds light on injustices, corruption and failures of our political systems. Which is the basis for change. But the fragments of truth are so meticulously and creatively collected, investigated and displayed that they all too often are also the missing proof in a trial. So what is it now? Art or Evidence? One of our all-time-favorite magazines mono.kultur set out to shed light on the manyfold works through an in depth interview with founder Eyal Weizman. And while you should absolutely read this heart stopping issue of mono.kultur we can already say that Forensic Architecture is the answer to the question what happens when art has real-world consequences.⁠   Buy...

Eighteen international writers respond to the open-ended period of social distancing, closures, and illness caused by Covid-19. Meditating on notions of distance and closeness, sameness and alterity, extinguishing and kindling, Tools for Extinction considers how a common pause might give rise to new modes of domesticity and shift experiences of time. What gestures and actions are we willing to perform to make ourselves, and each other, feel at ease – or at work? What tools and objects are useful, or unprecedentedly useless, to us in the process? And as our species’ trademark proclivity for projecting ourselves into the future is disrupted, might we come to see the buildings, animals, and plants around us in a new light? The anthology takes its name from Steven Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, a 1960s counterculture compendium of product reviews, essays, and articles on the themes of self-sufficiency, ecology, and alternative education. By giving “access to tools”, a new social order and a more sustainable Earth was imagined. Buy...

Where The Leaves Fall focus with their latest issue on extinction - from extraordinary picture essay on the floods in Bangladesh to efforts to save the world’s wild coffee species, many of which are at risk of extinction to how some plants, surviving the worst manmade disasters, can offer an alternative model for living in the face of the environmental crisis.⁠ Buy...

Cambio is a small layer between the bark and the wood of a tree, which helps the tree to adapt to shifts within its biotope. But Cambio also means change in Italian. The visionary design practice Formafantasma created a critical exhibition of the same name for Serpentine Galleries, which deals with trees, forestry practices and wood production. Wood is such an old and renewable material that it is not the first we think of when we talk about the exploitation of the planet. We want to see it as a sustainable material without questioning whether our use of it is sustainable. We forget that trees are living beings we should seek a thoughtful coexistence with. The exhibition questions the role that the discipline of design can play in translating emerging environmental awareness into informed, collaborative responses.⁠ ⁠ Unfortunately, the exhibition is closed, as are so many places at the moment. But fortunately we have the accompanying book that will allow you to dive deep into the research and design process of Formafantasma. Essays and interviews by experts in the fields of science, conservation, technology, policy-making and philosophy are designed to give the reader different points of view, while a series of interviews with Formafantasma themselves, over the course of the research period, illustrate the enriching interplay that resulted from these conversations.⁠ ⁠ And if you want to see the whole video, you can find it on the Instagram account of Serpentine Galleries alongside Antenna Fantasma - a weekly series of discussions around ecology and design by Formafantasma.⁠ Buy...

While human activity is reduced to a minimum, earth is thriving. Looking at the images of the Venice channels being so clear that you can see every sand corn on the ground (who would have thought that the ground has beautiful light sand?!), one can not say anymore that the water is normally brown and muddy because Venice is build into a muddy lagoon. We know now it is not. We know now it is brown because we humans pollute it. And this is just one of many examples we are seeing in these days. ⁠So when you sit at home and wish that everything would go back to normal. Think again. If we go back to normal, we probably missed the lesson. Let us take this time to re-imagine what world we want to live in. And while we are convinced that the big steps for a more healthful coexistence of humans and nature should be regulated by far-reaching laws, there are many things everyone of us can incorporate into their daily life to do their part. How to start Nathalie Fee describes in her book How to Save the World for Free insistent, vivid, and lighthearted. Because if we don't, we might not be able to tell each other to "stay home" and "stay safe" soon anymore, since we destroyed our home and no one is safe.⁠ Buy...

Kenya is a country with a young, fashion-conscious population. However, as the local fashion labels are expensive and unaffordable for most people because the raw materials are imported, they have to resort either to mass-produced, low-quality and yet comparatively expensive garments from countries further east or to the Mitumba trade - imported second-hand clothes from the western world.⁠ Chaumont Zaerpour's "Things People Wear in Kenya" is a photographic study of fashion as it is lived, worn, produced and consumed there. The various fashion economies are interwoven in the book, which is primarily influenced by Kenyan voices - clothing designers and wearers alike, who talk about their perception of clothing.⁠ Moving between high fashion and everyday inventions, the duo records “the way people tinker, find ways to extract a new life out of used things, and the uniqueness of all these cobbled objects.”⁠ Buy...

Even though upcycling is a well known design principle, this book is not about design and so you also won't find questionable so-called solutions of cut plastic bottles turned into planters. On the contrary. This book focusses on reuse in architecture, from cannibal architectures to upcycling ruins to creating building materials out of waste or found objects to encourage sustainable thought and action in architecture to reusing building materials like they did for the incredible building of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou.⁠ This book is bi-lingual: English and German. Buy...

We warmly invite you to discover with us the first issue of Lissome. A reading soundtracked by live music will guide you into the conscious, calm, and gracious world of Lissome.⁠ So if you are interested in New Years resolutions which are not solely existing in order to break them but actually transform the way we live as well as re-imagine our role as humans in an endangered ecosystem we are happy to see you on Tuesday the 21.01.2020 at 6.30 pm in our store in Auguststraße 28, Berlin-Mitte⁠. If that doesn't sound like a good start for this year...