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Designing from a depleted world


Monday 27 January 2020
6.30 — 8pm

This event has now ended

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Unknown Fields, The Breast Milk of the Volcano, 2016-18.

Video, sound, colour; 10 minutes.

(video still). Courtesy of the artists.

Our panellists, including design studio Unknown Fields, reflect on the impact of human action on Earth’s depleting resources and discuss how we can move forward with what is left.

The second panel discussion accompanying the Eco-Visionaries exhibition critically examines the influence large-scale human consumption and manufacturing has on our planet.

The problems surrounding resource depletion have now moved far beyond the ever-diminishing size of our forests or the indiscriminate use of fossil fuels. The Earth as a whole has enough fertile soil for less than 70 years, with predictions for the UK often being half that. It is clear that without significant changes to the way we live, humankind as a whole is looking at a grim future.

Our panellists will present short introductions to their work, followed by a discussion on how architects, designers and artists can positively contribute to the conversation around large-scale human consumption. From the dramatic consequences our dependency on technology has on rural communities, to how we should produce food in the changing climate; they will discuss the real cost of consumption in a rapidly deteriorating world, all to make proposals on how we should live in the future.

At the end of the discussion, the panel will also take questions from the audience.


Lucia Pietroiusti (chair) is the Curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries.

Katrin Bohn is a senior lecturer at the University of Brighton whose teaching and research looks at sustainable architecture and urban design with a focus on urban food production.

Kate Davies is a Division Leader of Unknown Fields and the co-founder of LiquidFactory. Her work explores contemporary notions of wilderness and operates between writing, drawing, film and photography.

Mark Smout is the Professor of Architecture and Landscape Futures at the Bartlett School of Architecture. He is the co-founder of the architectural design research practice Smout Allen.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Monday 27 January 2020

6.30 — 8pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£15, £9