Design Probes

Far-future research dialogue by Philips Design

Monday 11-07 will be the start of a new 'Unknown Fields' mission. Unknown Fields is a nomadic studio that will set off on an annual expedition to the ends of the earth exploring forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and obsolete ecologies. Philips Design Probes is a collaborator within this program. This year, on the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight, we will pack our Geiger counters and spacesuits as we chart a course from the atomic to the cosmic to investigate the unknown fields between the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor in the Ukraine and Gagarin’s launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Beginning in the shadows of nuclear disaster we will survey the irradiated wilderness and bear witness to a sobering apocalyptic vision. We will skirt the retreating tide of the Aral Sea and mine the ‘black gold’ in the Caspian oilfields and caviar factories. We will wander through the cotton fields of Kazakhstan and tread the ancient silk road before reaching the shores of the cosmic ocean bathed in the white light of satellites blasting into tomorrow’s sky. In these shifting fields of nature and artifice we will re-examine our preservationist and conservationist attitudes toward the natural world and document a cross-section through a haunting landscape of the ecologically fragile and the technologically obsolete. Being very excited to have the opportunity to join this mission, I will try to do as much posts possible to keep you updated from this bizarre journey.

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Tags: Fields, Philips, Unknown, aral, chernobyl, cosmodrome, design, probes, sea

Comment by Willemijn Peeters on July 15, 2011 at 5:25pm
Can't wait to hear more about your trip. You should be well underway by now, so let's get those blogs coming!

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