In a very dense day in October, we had the pleasure of sharing a stage in Den Haag with a number of very interesting, inspiring and stimulating speakers at the Craft of Experience Design symposium. The Instrument Inventors group edited videos of all the talks and have just released them for our enjoyment and edification. You can find a commented summary of all videos, their Vimeo collection or just our presentation.
Meeting in the fort at the end of Valletta, the group of eleven partcipants wended their way through thoughts of disasters and saving graces. FoAM led the group from a broad sweep through the influences, drivers, trends and influences that we saw as being relevant for a thriving food culture and then we leapt into Dator’s Four Futures: Continue, Collapse, Discipline and Transform.
Over thirty passionate food people in a nature park on a promontory in south eastern Malta. An interesting and inspiring conclusion to this round of futuring exercises. As the topic of the third round of futuring exercises, we decided upon looking at possible futures of well-being and invited our friends and colleagues from FoAM to work on a project around this topic. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they took on the question of food as a vital element of well-being and the way that it might change in reaction to many of the things that are changing in these times.
Video sprint: 3 days from start to end. The last day is a frenzy of editing the clips, locating the missing bits, imagining the graphic interlays. We conclude with a quick presentation: the end of the sprint.
In a perfectly planned world, we would have sent the scripts to the actors yesterday. But the future is uncertain, as are the creations of them. After the security issues around getting access to the Grand Master’s Palace, it then seemed like the Carneval would be the biggest problem. Afterwards we had some wonderful footage from a great group of actors.
After the sprinted scenario and object prototype creation of the first day, it was time to shoot some video. The groups arrived at the Grand Master’s Palace in the center of Valletta wearing various forms of “Government Chic” to create videos in these timeless surroundings. If a building has been there for a few centuries, it will probably last a few more decades. And so it offers a good basis for the shooting of speculative government programme videos.
Elliot Montgomery and Chris Woebken, making up the futures / design duo Extrapolation Factory, led a group of a dozen participants through a process of proposing futures for possible EU Programmes. Developing from signals, not trends, to develop further signals, not worlds, the participants investigated implications.
As the Changing Weathers project draws to a close, the ideas that it set free emerge in other arenas and areas, finding resonances around our wonderful community. A few weeks ago a request for an interview in the zine Makery arrived, and part one has now been published, in English and French. Happily the thoughts that were discussed set off more thoughts for us: let’s see where they all end up!
One of the things we started doing in our barren corner of the industrial harbour a few years ago was greening it up, making some soil, planting some herbs and even attempting some actual vegetable growing. Basil often works, rosemary, thyme, sage too, the perennial strawberries in a synergetic fungal culture (thanks Natalia!) are delivering every year as are the blackberries and a few other random things. We try other things like silverbeet and fennel, salads and the tomatoes were often quite fantastic. Some things are less visible: today we cleaned up a bit and harvested our potatoes after a whole summer.
1.25 kilogrammes. I don’t think we will be an island of sustainability and self-reliance any time soon.
After several months of development, we are happy to open the city gates and welcome the public to explore one corner of our small city on the sea, Turnton. Emerging from a simple futuring process that used our researches about ocean health, sail cargo and socio-economic changes, the scenario imagines that we as society will not react in time to avert massive dead zones, fisheries collapse and ocean pollution. However we are not just gloomy (a comment from a visitor) in that we imagine responses to these changes on a socio economic scale in order to alleviate many of the issues, the shadows of sail cargo ships on the wall, New Neighbours are welcome. Continue reading
Over 5 years ago a simple small boat, a punt, based on a design from the 1930s by Edward Monk, was a winter building exercise in the harbourside workshops. We named her the Imperial Punt because all the dimensions are in inches. A simple vessel that has been a bit of a workhorse for various projects and events. For instance we use her in workshops, she was the ferry for the Floating Village with Leo Schatzl and a group at the mouth of the Traun river and appeared in the follow on exhibition in Kunstraum Goethestrasse. We were approached a few months ago by the curators of a show at the 44er Gallery in Leonding, a small city near Linz, whether we had a suitable vessel for an exhibition. So now the punt has been in two whole exhibitions, perhaps she is an art boat.
Geert Jan Hobijn from Staalplaat Sound System has been our practitioner in residence the past week or two, and filed the following report after the second round of water testing:
At the Brest Maritime festival, there were a lot of distractions. But a few nice surprises. One was a collection of three containers, upended in the sand. filled with the scenography of migrants who had somehow set up home inside. One was an upturned living room, photos scattered next to the chair hanging above my head, another a micro shack with bed and kitchen, the third a spinning mobile of passports in the rays of sunshine coming through the perforations in the container.
A simple piece, a poetic form of physical narrative, free from language or a particular storyline.