Plastic Futures

Installation and exhibition design: Pia Ednie-Brown

student works: Peter Charles, Megan Hendy, Will Hosikian, Jessica In, Yenita Kurniawan, Taka Kunitoshi, Trecia Lim, Mihn Tri Nguyen, Girish Sagaram, Tristan Sinclair, Aziza Velagic, Diana Wong.


Victorian State of Design Festival, 2009


Tags BioMasters Design StudioPia Ednie-Brown

Plastic Futures was an installation that operated at the scale of a room environment, designed to frame a set of individual, speculative works by students that proposed future situations, scenarios and possibilities.

The project explored the intersections of bio-art and contemporary field-based design practices in the context of speculative fiction. A group of architecture and fashion students engaged in a workshop over a five week period in 2009, including a one week intensive in Western Australia with SymbioticA (UWA) where we explored the environmental conditions of a colony of thrombolites, (bacterial ‘growing rocks’) found at Lake Clifton in the Yalgorup National Park. The project was aimed at generating a future scenario.

The Plastic Futures installation environment was designed to evoke a scalelessness, ambiguous/blurred boundary conditions, and an ambience of the indefinite, qualitatively similar to clouds. An interactive work was incorporated into the ‘cloud’, engaging visitors in a process of operating at multiple scales at once and amplifying scalar ambiguity. A sound-scape and a text based fiction in large printed form became important parts of the installation experience.

Plastic Futures was part of an ARC Discovery project that sought to re-theorise innovation in relation to creative practices, via creative practice research (see also The Innovation Imperative). The work was part of the Victorian State of Design Festival – a significant national event showcasing innovative design. A discussion forum was held in the installation with Professor Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby (Designing Interactions, RCA), Oron Catts (SymbioticA), Pia Ednie-Brown and Professor Mark Burry.