24 Feb Mold #5 Seeds
Surprise Subscription #2
In most cases, mold indicates the end of a journey – the bin. But what happens when you take it as the beginning of the story? When this is the starting point for manifold narratives yet to come? Fantasies you might never have thought of before?
Well, then it’s Mold – an eco-speculative publication from the US which explores how design and technology can shape the future of food and our relationship towards it. Why did we choose this one? It’s about food, sure. But moreover, because Mold succeeds issue after issue in making the unknown tangible within the present – and that for a readership which is probably as heterogeneous as mold itself! Not to mention its mind-blowing futuristic visual identity, art directed by Eric Hu (known for NikeLab) and Matthew Tsang, creative director for the art gallery and book publisher David Zwirner.
But these aren’t the only reasons why we decided on this one for our second round. Never was the chance greater and the need more urgent to rethink our collective future than in these critical times! And there’s no-one better to explain how this issue, which you are about to hold in your hands, can be used as a tool for the future than Linyee – founder and editor of Mold.
Linyee, we are so happy that Mold #5, which is dedicated to seeds, dropped into our lives right on time. What can we learn from seeds in these troubling times?
When putting together this issue, we asked our contributors – designers, scientists, farmers, artists, architects, and activists – what seed intelligence might teach us as we navigate uncertainty. Each person had a unique answer to this question but what came across as general themes were that acts of mutual care should be considered a tenet of design, that there is much to be learned and passed on from generation to generation, and that we, as designers, should be crafting aesthetics of (bio)diversity that inspire new ways of imagining the world around us. These foundational ideas are ones that we can sow across our personal and professional lives as we engage in deep listening and start designing with collaborators (human and nonhuman) to architect new ways of relating to one another.
After themes such as ‘Designing for the Human Microbiome’, ‘A seat at the table’, ‘Waste’, ‘Designing for the senses’ and now ‘Seeds’. What was the original concept of this print venture in the first place?
We launched the print magazine of MOLD as a way of clarifying the possibilities of design in reimagining and reshaping the food system by using each issue to explore a specific theme and facet of ‘food design.’ What better way to reach designers than creating a thoughtful, beautiful and engaging design object? We hope that the ideas contained in each issue will be evergreen – collectively, the people and projects we’ve had the opportunity to engage with over the last few years have completely shifted our understanding of the world around us and will inform the work to come. One of our favorite bits of news from last year came from Germany – we wrote about how Cologne is creating a plan to transform into an ‘edible city.’
Mold magazine is just one project of many – alongside events, summits, food art, design projects – that make up the platform MOLD. Can you tell us more about the greater concept of MOLD?
MOLD is a multidisciplinary project that explores how design can offer solutions for our coming food crisis. We believe that we should be working towards food sovereignty and building living food ecologies that are resilient, regenerative, biodiverse, transparent, nutritious and accessible. We publish both the print magazine and online at thisismold.com. As this is our penultimate issue (our final print issue will come out in 2022) we are looking at how we might take the ideas that we’ve been writing and thinking about over the past 7 years and put them into practice in our local community here in New York City. We’re launching a non-profit organization this year to explore how design can nourish hyperlocal food ecologies and hope to start modeling ways that this can happen in 2022!