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Class of 2021: Ecocentric

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Various graphics from a computer game about bees
Various graphics from a computer game about bees
Adipa Klomchitcharoen, BA Graphic Communication Design
Written by
Teleri Lloyd-Jones
Published date
06 July 2021

On the Graduate Showcase you'll find a collection of work curated by the UAL Climate Emergency Network. Here, we pause on a few of those selected projects responding to the climate emergency in bold and witty ways.

First up, Adipa Klomchitcharoen, BA Graphic Communication Design and her 8-bit game Kill All The Bees. Set in a world of bee extinction, the game challenges players to survive themselves and save the species. The work is a humorous expression with a serious underpinning. It takes everyday moments such as having a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine before bed and explores the impact these behaviours have.

Computer game graphic of person surround by bees
Adipa Klomchitcharoen, BA Graphic Communication Design

"When we think of animal suffering, I realised that the blame tends to go to the exploitative industries," says Adipa, "when in fact, everything we use, everything we do is directly tied to the cause of animal cruelty. Consumer demands dictate producers' behaviours. Most of the time, we contribute to the cause of animal cruelty simply because we are unaware of the effects our behaviour can have... Game design creates a design-friendly material that allows the audience to experience the issue in a less confrontational way."

Reflecting on the forced isolation of pandemic lockdown, several projects celebrate and augment the senses. Sixtine Marechal, MA Industrial Design, has created a series of wearable devices that ask us to see, smell and hear anew. The critical design project reorders our physical experience, but, more deeply, emphasises doubt, curiosity and discovery as key in times of crisis. "By wearing these objects," Sixtine says, "you will not have a direct answer to your questions but instead a completely new perspective on your world. The wearer would feel startled at first – almost uncomfortable, using this new perception. They only work if you allow time to get used to them or "tame" them, to get the most information out of your new sensory faculties. With time, the wearer should feel empowered, autonomous and in touch with its physical interactions."

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    , Sixtine Marechal, MA Industrial Design
  • suit-sight-final.jpg
    , Sixtine Marechal, MA Industrial Design

Continuing in a sensory reset, Alisa Ruzavina, MA Material Futures, wants us to rethink our relationship with nature through her Earthkinology interventions. These huge interactive street installations, invite passers by to stop and see their surroundings differently. Giant binoculars introduce us to lime trees while an "aquascope" takes us to a live stream underwater.

"The global experience of the Coronavirus pandemic provided a different perspective. Citizens’ interests are slowly coming back to the nearby green. As nature-connected people are more prone to adopt pro-environmental empathetic behaviours, this comes as a hopeful step towards building a climate change resilient culture. How do we sustain and deepen this revived interest now that the pace of city life is picking up again?"

Alisa Ruzavina

Earthkinology

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    , Alisa Ruzavina, MA Material Futures
  • Immie_Spilsbury_A4.jpg
    , Immie Spilsbury, BA Jewellery Design

From BA Jewellery Design, Immie Spilsbury has created a collection inspired by endangered animal species. In a twist, she focused on their weaponry highlighting their need to defend themselves against humanity, for example, antler-like rings take their cues from stag and rhino beetles. The pieces are aesthetically aggressive and intentionally pinch the wearer's body in slightly uncomfortable ways, reminding them of their responsibility to the natural world.