Broken Nature Special Commissions
A number of directly commissioned works complements the loans in the thematic exhibition and will highlight design approaches aimed not only at correcting humanity’s self-destructive course, but also at replenishing our relationship with the environment and with all species – including other human beings. These projects are often continuations of a body of work previously started and are meant to encourage designers to consider their practice as long-term research.
The Room of Change
The Room of Change installation is a handcrafted data tapestry illustrating how multiple aspects of our environment have changed in the past centuries, how they are still changing, and how they will likely continue changing. Combining several different data sources depicting the world from both global and local-individual perspectives, the installation tells stories of people and their relationship with what has been around them over time, layering dense and granular information within the narration to highlight how change is pervasive at all scales.
We would like to thank Repower for generously backing the Room of Change.
Sigil (Khaled Malas, Salim Al-Kadi, Alfred Tarazi, and Jana Traboulsi) is a collective based in Beirut and New York City. Through a series of visual, representational and site-specific interventions in Syria and Italy, they seek to explore the simultaneously marvelous and terrifying metamorphoses of the Arab landscape marked by both historical and contemporary struggles. Their contribution to Broken Nature, entitled Birdsong, investigates the relationship and entanglements that exist between birds (or "avian bodies," which can be real or fantastical), humans, and the Syrian landscape and history.
Ore Streams is an investigation into the recycling of precious electronic waste. Design duo Formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin) have set out to identify ways in which design can be deployed to correct the flaws in the current waste-stream system. Beyond systemic improvements, design can be used to elicit a less conscious attitudinal shift towards considering waste not “waste,” but rather a new material. The project began during the NGV Triennial in Melbourne in 2017. The work is composed of in-depth analysis of the waste cycle and of a collection of office furniture constructed using dead-stock and recycled materials.
Architect and designer Neri Oxman, a professor at the MIT Media Lab, founded and directs the university’s Mediated Matter research group, which explores how digital design and fabrication technologies can mediate between humans and environment to radically transform the design and construction of our surroundings. Their commission for the XXII Triennale di Milano will use melanin – the natural pigment whose concentration defines the color of human skin – at an architectural scale. Her work will be a demonstration of how design at all scales can be a powerful commentary, both poetic and rigorously scientific, on human bias and prejudice.