Circolo del Design presents an exhibition on new ways of inhabiting the Planet

Circolo del Design presents “L’ecologia è sociale, in pratica” (“Ecology is social, in practice”), the exhibition that places design as a key element in addressing the environmental crisis and the most pressing contemporary political and social issues.

The relationship between migrations and climate change, the emergence of sacrificial zones, the ecological costs of the construction industry, the accumulation of plastics in the environment, the reuse of construction waste, the loss of biodiversity, the care of the land in metropolitan and territorial contexts, the exploitation of scarce natural resources: these are the themes that inspired the architecture and design projects chosen by Salvatore Peluso – independent curator, journalist and educator –, called by Circolo del Design to curate the exhibition “L’ecologia è sociale, in pratica”.

The exhibition, which can be visited from June 6 to December 16, 2024, at Circolo del Design, Via San Francesco da Paola 17, Turin, is part of the second edition of “Earthrise – Design for a Living Planet”, the annual cultural event aimed at spreading visions, research and projects in the world of design to make our life on the planet more sustainable.

Social ecology as a current of thought

Social ecology is a radical philosophy that correlates ecological issues with political and social issues. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes architecture, economics, political and social theory, anthropology, and the natural sciences. It is from this current of thought, and in particular Murray Bookchin’s “The Ecology of Freedom” – considered a classic of utopian thought –, that the exhibition “L’ecologia è sociale, in pratica” is developed.

The experiences on display share their approach to design. The works of the designers and architects in the exhibition are the result of a reflection on the most pressing social issues that have emerged in relation to the global environmental crisis, and are developed through collective actions that have a transformative effect on the communities in which these projects operate.

Circolo del Design: the projects on show

Among the projects on display is “Fulcrum” by Marginal Studio, tables characterized by inlays made of mango wood – an allochthonous plant typical of tropical countries that as a consequence of climate change is increasingly being cultivated in this region – by local and migrant artisans; but also the Spanish project “PET Lamps” by Alvaro Catalán De Ocón, lamps made with recycled plastic bottles and traditional craft techniques from communities of the south of the world.

“Cantiere Aperto” by Studio Gisto uses sand and aggregates produced by crushing rubble from construction sites – materials that are no longer reused or recycled – which become semi-finished products useful for making new objects thanks to the communities that will use them. Dutch studio Atelier NL, with the project “To See a World in a Grain of Sand” , similarly reflects on the unique value of sand – one of the most important natural resources in our lives, without which we would have no glass, no computer chips, no buildings, and which is rapidly disappearing – by transforming it into glass thanks to the samples collected by hundreds of people in the mountains, deserts and ruins of every corner of the world.

but also…

“Floating University is a German project investigating a territorial dimension. In the former Berlin Tempelhof airport, in a partially contaminated rainforest basin, it brings together researchers from different disciplines to explore alternative forms of coexistence by transforming the space into a unique ecosystem.

On the other hand, Makramè‘s project “Bosco Colto” is a process-action that is shaped on the metamorphosis of the Boschi di Santo Pietro, in the Sicilian hinterland to trigger new relational processes; while “Post Disaster Rooftop”, in Taranto, a city included by the United Nations in the list of Western “sacrifice zones” promotes public events on the rooftops of the city, allowing people to see the ecological disaster the territory and, at the same time, collectively imagine possible alternative futures.

Lastly, “HouseEurope!” is initiative organized by the Swiss collective Station+ to collect signatures for a new European law proposal promoting the redevelopment of existing buildings to stop speculation-driven demolition.

Culture Moves Europe

The tenth project on display to close “L’ecologia è sociale, in pratica” will be the result of the residency hosted by the Circolo del Design from September 16 to November 5, 2024, as a result of the European call for projects “Culture Moves Europe” funded by the European Union and the Goethe Institut.
The residency will involve a European designer collaborating with communities, artisans and interdisciplinary experts in Turin and the results will be presented in an exhibition during Torino Art Week.

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