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Material Incubator

Powered by Caradt, MNEXT and Delft University of Technology

The Garden that Sees, Smells, and Hears

Workshop by Annemarie Piscaer

As a designer fascinated with dust as a material, the image “Pale Blue Dot” taken by the Voyager 1 Spacecraft, on 14 February 1990, has an incredible significance. It shows planet Earth from the furthest possible distance. From this perspective, for me, Earth appears as a small, fragile particle of dust in an immensely vast space. Zooming in, the famous picture of the “Blue Marble”, chronicled by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972, represents the first photograph in which Earth is in full view. This image was the first to conjure the “overview effect” in people; perceiving Earth as an ecosystem, this was an important milestone for the environmental movement.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we as humans face. It requires that we fundamentally change our habits, change our systems. This necessary change remains difficult as long as dominant views that separate “planetary” and “human” are maintained. Living in the Anthropocene, dominant human cultures have placed humans at the centre of the ecosystem, rather than inextricably entangled within and across it: actors, among many actors, enmeshed across scales. Alternative visualisations are needed to change this perspective. Research that enables not only mere cognitive understanding, but is “experiential” as well. Embodied knowledge that enables us to “feel” the role humans currently play in the ecosystem. The educational workshop “From outside to inside” attempts to evoke a certain embodied knowledge. In an imaginary journey to the moon, participants are invited to experience an overview effect. The journey continues by zooming in. Zooming in further they observe their surroundings through a digital microscope. Depicting an amazement of what exists all around us, here on planet Earth, from the inside.