Terrestrial human activity is accelerating disproportionately to available resources. We arrive at a pivotal and critical moment for the survival of the human species, and have three years to rethink all our uses with our eco-systems, recalibrate them with a degree of urgency similar to that of a world war. Without this, and according to James Anderson of the Climatology-Atmospheric Chemistry Department of Harvard (USA) in an interview published in the spring of 2018, human extinction will begin. A real decrease, a new ecology of the human environment and as discussed as an example by the Oslo Architecture Triennale, is therefore imperative. Since 2017, the independent design studio Ralston & Bau has committed to creating an idealist design to decode the complexity of our world and connect people and shared spaces. Practicing transformative design, Ralston & Bau takes ideas to action and complex issues into essential objects.
The ideal territory is an immersion: a collective exploration in your context, school, city. The challenge is clearly to transform and (re) enchant our society without delay so that it is regenerating. We will immerse ourselves collectively and individually in local shared spaces, meeting people we will learn through empathic observations and interviews. In this urgency of change, the solution lies in circular principles: we must rethink everything for short cycles and networks that have little impact. We will share, visualise and test these reflections via installations, proposals for tangible and actionable uses: your ideal scenarios.
The Ideal Territory is part of the 2019 programming of the Idealist Institute, in three countries; France, UK and Norway. The students and product design and ceramics of Central St. Martin in London will work on the Ideal Modules: a similar reflection on their contextual complexity, and in relation to the object. Space Design students at the KMD Design Institute in Bergen will work on habitat-related uses and ideal materials. Experimental School of Arts Annecy Alpes will focus on vernacular architecture based on local knowledges, craft and materials.
“Terroir” of design
What knowledge is inherent to the context, a universe people concerned can relate to? Terroir, refer to the french word meaning the set of environmental factors that affect a crop's phenotype, including unique environment contexts, farming practices and a crop's specific growth habitat. Collectively, these contextual characteristics are said to have a character; terroir also refers to this character.
Open and regenerative design
How can we design products and spaces that permit users to be active in their relation to them? In a circular economy, we include the whole life cycle of the outcome in the design phase. The user should be able to recycle, upgrade, complement, adapt to new usages and repair such a object/space; that age gracefully and that is simply made to mute through time according to usage and needs.