From satellite graveyards to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, GEO—DESIGN: Junk. explores global systems of discarded things and the new realities and potentialities of waste. This city-wide exhibition, produced in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum, showcases 18 projects by DAE alumni.
Please note: During DDW GEO-DESIGN: Junk in the Van Abbemuseum can only be visited with a DDW all-access ticket.
With strikingly different approaches to design and research, the exhibition traverses landfills and dumps, uncovers the ghosts of dead digital communities and discovers new ecosystems and economies built on detritus. It looks at junk as a microcosm, as an economic barometer that can reveal realities of consumption and production, and as a subject of intercontinental diplomacy.
It is the second chapter of GEO—DESIGN exhibition series, an annual collaboration between Design Academy Eindhoven and the Van Abbemuseum. It is part of the GEO—DESIGN platform created by Design Academy Eindhoven in response to the urgent need for an experimental space and tangible support for young designers and researchers whose work deals with global issues. Half of the projects featured in GEO—DESIGN: Junk are on display in the museum, the other half of the projects are hosted by businesses around Eindhoven, taking the exhibition beyond the walls of the institution and expanding its relationship with the city.
In 1994, Campania’s garbage-collection crisis became so great that the entire waste-management chain was placed under the administration of an Extraordinary Government Commission. Tellurico investigates some of the more recent causes and effects of the crisis, which has changed the suburban landscape around Napoli, creating a junk district where garbage has been stored for almost 15 years.
Space junk is usually associated with the ring of debris orbiting our planet, but it often reenters the atmosphere. Combined with controlled splashdowns, this is adding space waste to the marine environment. Nanni and Peschel explore space junk as a terrestrial issue at Point Nemo, also known as the Spacecraft Cemetery.
Junk is changing the habits of wildlife around the world. Charital and Rifaï look at the case of the white stork and how the bountiful landfills of Spain, Portugal and northern Morocco have turned the long-distance flyer – once an international symbol of migration – into a sedentary bird.
Israel’s economic blockade of the Gaza Strip affects every aspect of the country’s consumption. While products can still get in, garbage can’t get out, adding growing mountains of waste to the pressures that are rapidly making this tiny territory uninhabitable. This closed system of junk becomes a window into the daily lives of Gaza’s residents.
The trade in donated second-hand clothes from the west to Africa is worth $5 billion per year. Through the creation of a series of sunshades, Lotte de Haan investigates the impact of this import industry at various levels within the Zambian economy in the face of growing competition from China.
Only 20 percent of global e-waste is properly recycled or disposed of, with the remaining 80 percent becoming part of an illegal international network of trade. E-waste dumping-sites exist within a cycle of exploitation and pollution, but the illicit import of e-waste also creates new industries and opportunities. Sleumer creates an open atlas of independent E-waste sites, linking a global issue to its localised impacts.
CGI has become a crucial tool for creating spectacular destruction in contemporary cinema, freeing it from the physical realities of set building and budgets. Using 3D modelling and animation software, Schimmel & Schweikle recreate sites of destruction from the top ten most-watched American movies of the past decade, contrasting the speed of consumption of the moving image with the time it takes to reconstruct it.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is creating new “continents” of plastic that are home to a vast new human-made community of microbial life that scientists have dubbed the Plastisphere. In an immersive installation, Livne recreates an experience of this hidden community of life forms through sound, smell and visual design.
The microwave oven is a technologically advanced appliance used by humans all over the world to warm up or cook food. Studio Plastique uses this common object as a starting point to investigate the global production and disposal of silicate junk – a category of electronics waste that includes glass and silicone products that are rarely recycled – and its local and international impact.