aspect-ratio 10x9

A speculative summer school exploring future narratives across different design disciplines

Bio Design Lab, HfG Karlsruhe

indivisible portions of matter, a basic part of a whole. From the alchemical four-element doctrine to biological atomism and microspheres. At the opposite spectrum of scale Elementals have no measurable size. They utterly exceed the proportions of humans both in size and force. Elementals are gigantic, if simply not enormous. When a campfire turns into a forest fire, when a river breaks its banks or the ground swallows entire cities - we no longer take the calm course of nature for granted. Awaken by global entanglements, Water, Fire, Earth and Wind, put the power of the elements on display for us in a way we have rarely seen before.

What holds the world together at its core will occupy us in this year‘s summer program „Future of Life - Elementals“. The four thematic strands, EARTH, WATER, FIRE and AIR will provide deeper insights into the conditions that make these natural forces possible. By means of artistic-creative as well as experimental approaches, speculative scenarios emerge, which at times ask: What is the elemental of (un)shared coexistence? How are elementals intimately linked to space and time, though they are neither simply spatial nor simply temporal? How do they intersect, overlap and envelop one another?

The daytime program offers four parallel workshops led by renowned designers as well as guided tours to workshop-specific sites, labs and partner institutions, such as the ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe).

Invisible to the naked eye, nevertheless omnipresent and essential for life – soil, a universe of complex network systems and exchange of information. A time capsule holding data about natural cycles and human-induced processes.
Together we will dive into the depths of soil and unravel the chain of events taking place over time and through various props and prototypes.

Workshop lead will be announced soon.

Order of magnitude = -2 (N = α x 10-2)

The Rhein river passing through Karlsruhe has been an important regional waterway for over 100 years. How are the numerous commodity journeys impacting the surrounding marine biology, vegetation, the landscape as well as the water itself? What dependencies and synergies emerge between history, trade, pollution and ecology? The participants in this workshop will uncover chains of events, effects and ecological cycles and develop tools of visualization, adaption and resilience.

Workshop lead will be announced soon.

Order of magnitude = 5 (N = α x 105)

Fire – the beginning and the end. The fuel for human evolution and revolution. The final transformation of resources, materials, energy and even waste.
This workshop will use fire as a starting point and explore the different relationship aspects with this natural phenomenon and create narratives of historical and social context.

Workshop Lead: Studio Thus That

Order of magnitude = 1 (N = α x 101)

Air does not obey nor care about human-made borders or territorial borders. It redraws maps and creates a cartography of its own. The movement of air becomes visible and tangible through fleeting entities: clouds and wind.
This speculative workshop will explore the scientific, artistic, ecological as well as anthropological aspects related to clouds and windy ephemeral phenomena.

Workshop lead will be announced soon.

Order of magnitude = 7 (N = α x 107)

The summer program offers an open evening program accessible to the general public. Various talks, presentations, panel discussions, as well as performances, broaden the perspective to the overall topic related to the ELEMENTALS topic.

More information on the evening program will follow soon.

For a full program overview and regular updates follow @future_of_life_school on Instagram

APPLY NOW until 04. June 23
Apply now to be part of the school.

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