One of the award-winning projects on this year’s Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show explores how humans could use geoengineering to develop a more intimate relationship with climate.
With Human-Cloud Project, Filips Staņislavskis has created a series of tools that transform human breath into clouds.
The BA Leisure graduate wants to challenge the use of geoengineering, also known as climate engineering – the deliberate large-scale intervention in Earth’s natural systems to counter climate change.
Instead of using geoengineering to control the weather or minimize global warming, he would like people to feel a more personal connection to climate.
“Geoengineering presents the logical solution to an existential crisis, making us the masters of nature,” said the designer.
“I was curious how this technology is changing our relationship with the climate system,” he told Dezeen, “and whether it was possible to use it instead to create a sense of belonging and of compassion towards him “.
Staņislavskis designed two devices that allow a person to artificially create their own personal clouds.
The first is a device that captures the exhaled air and turns it into liquid. It is a double-walled laboratory condenser equipped with a mouthpiece, which uses a condensation process to extract moisture from each breath that is exhaled.
After the process is complete, the liquid can be decanted into a small glass vial.
The second tool, a “cloud generator”, is attached to a weather balloon so that it can release its cloud high in the sky.
A circuit board is programmed to activate the device when it reaches a suitable height, where an atomizer turns the liquid into vapor and the pumps produce the cloud.
“These clouds are tiny and dissipate quickly,” Staņislavskis said. “Therefore, even if they were produced on a large scale, they would probably have virtually no impact on the environment.”
The production of artificial clouds is currently involved in various climate engineering processes.
During cloud seeding, chemicals such as silver iodide or dry ice (the solid form of carbon dioxide) are released into the atmosphere as condensation nuclei, causing more to form. of raindrops or snowflakes.
The process was developed as a solution to drought, although some scientists have doubts about its effectiveness.
Clouds are also central to the theoretical practice of geoengineering known as sea cloud lightening, which involves spraying natural substances such as sea salt into sea clouds. to make them thicker and more reflective. In theory, this could help clouds act as sun shields.
The full impact of these technologies can be difficult to measure, although Staņislavskis says they have been linked to a range of other phenomena.
“Extreme weather events, air pollution, respiratory diseases and systemic suffocation have intensified since we started to radically change the composition of gases in the atmosphere,” Staņislavskis said.
“We have to ask ourselves where are we going with this,” he continued. “Is it really to make a world more livable or is it some kind of power play?” “
The Human-Cloud project was selected by the judges of the Design Academy Eindhoven as the winner of the Melkweg Prize, which recognizes outstanding talent at the undergraduate level.
The project aligns with the concept of the Anthropocene, which classifies our current period as the first age when humans are the dominant environmental force on the planet.
Staņislavskis hopes the project will help people realize that they are already closely connected to the world around them.
“All living creatures are directly entangled by breathing,” he said. “All the breaths that have ever been taken on this planet are still there, no more, no less.”
“Could harmonization with breathing open us up to the way in which we are, always already, intimately linked to the atmosphere?
The DAE Graduation Show 2021 is on display at Beursgebouw, Lardinoisstraat 10, Eindhoven from October 16 to 24, as part of Dutch Design Week. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events happening around the world.