"After the end of this world" design project with Patricia Hepp, the project series Körperhüllen FHIWS, Fakultät Gestaltung, SS 2018.
After the end of this world, when all feared collapse scenarios have occurred, such as climate catastrophe, overpopulation, collapse of the ecosystem, epidemics, or nuclear radiation. Let us imagine that humanity has survived and is free from the fear of the disasters that threaten us today. The apocalypse has happened and the world as we know it has disappeared: A chance for a new beginning. What could our environment and our life look like then? What do visions for a new, more peaceful and happier coexistence look like? People will no longer be where they came from, and their own home will be so changed that there will no longer be any familiar surroundings. The immediate environment that one might carry with one can replace home.
We live in the age of the Anthropocene, man has become the main factor influencing our environment, the biological, geological and atmospheric processes of our earth. The influence of mankind on ecosystems, other species and resources of the planet, i.e. climate change, extinction of species, migration of species, the change of the complete ecosystem of this planet has an exponential effect on the ever accelerating change. We are sitting on a huge gun barrel. Our end of the world has many shapes and faces, which we have looked at this semester. Whether it is our climate that is changing drastically, whether it is the collapse or poisoning of our ecosystem, the catastrophic extinction of species, the world deforestation, or the atomic super gau, which makes our planet difficult to revive.
Our fear of apocalyptic scenarios makes us think about strategies for postponing catastrophes, but our visionary thinking may be blocked. In our contemporary imagination, dystopias are more popular than utopias.
In this semester project we discussed our fears. We speculated about being free of fear, and tried to imagine that everything threatening had already happened, and what comes next?
In our main project we have faced the unconditional speculation about our surrounding enclosures after the end of this world. Everything can develop newly and under new conditions. We envisioned what our habitats could look like then. When conditions like gravity and physics may be different, and new places of life are found, like in the atmosphere, under the earth, or on other planets.
We explored how we protect ourselves, how we communicate with each other through our surfaces and how we develop culture in our interaction with each other. Our clothing forms our sphere, our shelter and our identity, it is like an architecture that surrounds our body and can make us independent of place and time.
After a detailed conception and design phase, 1: 1 life-size models were realized in several workshop days. The presentation of the resulting body coverings on 11 July 2018 was conceived and planned as a design task by the entire team. Everybody worked for the whole, everybody mastered a different part, like the planning of the performance in the room, the rhythmic-spherical sound to the projects, the choreography, and the audience situation. The room, a non-place on the edge of the university's underground car park, offered an extraordinary atmosphere, marked by a blank title on the concrete wall and as a design element the white steam from a fog machine. The announcement of the performance were posters on plastic sheets remaining in the possible future. The drink after the presentation was also part of the design task, the glasses wrapped in a text banderole with cheerful references to survival strategies in the case of an apocalypse.