Axelle Julien (she/her)
Innovation Design Collaborative Practice Prize
I am a french multidisciplinary designer with a focus on future centred and environmental design. I am convinced that collaboration between science, art and design can be a seed for change by questioning contemporary issues through sensitive and speculative design.
The future can be debated and discussed before it happens.
2100 is a virtual exhibition, the narration of a collaboratively built future where we became aware of our role in the ecosystem and water ritual.
Welcome in 2100! Enter to see what could happen in a sustainable community where we are communicating between generation to live in coalition with our biodiversity. The exhibition is composed of 4 islands. The first one explains the context in 2100. The second one is a celebration of students works. The third part is questioning the role of a designer and a biologist, in collaboration, to increase the sustainability and environmental engagement of a community. And the last part is a representation of my collaborative engagements.
I became aware of my interaction with water in 2009. I was 10 years old, I had arrived in Congo. For the first time in my life, I saw how people could pray for water in hot weather and mourn the damage it caused in the floods. I understood this relationship of desire and hatred, of wealth and precariousness caused by water. I realized that I was using water without understanding its value. I want to stimulate an awareness of how natural resources are precious and we too often take them for granted especially in Occidental countries.
As part of this debate on the future, I use design as a medium tool to engage with a class of student, Olivier Barriere a Biologist and people from the Basque community, that where my project showed different levels of social impacts. Obviously, there is an educational and didactic aspect with this collaborative and participative construction of the project. The process is becoming as valuable for participants as the outcome of this virtual exhibition. Organically I develop a methodology that I can now share as a guide for anyone who would like to experiment with a speculative future community approach. Another social impact hoped is a slow cultural shift of our contemporary relationship with water, and biodiversity in general.
Mínyma is a future experience based on a collective intelligence database, permitting the creation of a new emotional language with senses, adapted to cancerology service. It is a new non-spoken language. Mínyma is an experience of emotional sharing through poems, touch and smell.
Mínyma is composed of two sensory kits and the database connected to them. Through my user journey map I wanted to represent in addition all the other impact that Mínyma has on society, the contribution of knowledge in the medical field on the emotional data of patients at the end of life, or the impact on society thanks to the creation of a new dialogue between my characters which directly echoes in other relationships around them.
Furthermore, I have chosen to represent my database as a plant with roots, connecting all my different artefact together. I took inspiration from the « fungus network », plants talk to each other using the Internet of fungus. They are sharing nutrients and information. Albert Bernard Frank coined the word « mycorrhiza » to describe these partnerships, in which the fungus colonises the roots of the plant.
My story is based on a distant family relationship between Alice, my main character, and her granddaughter Camille. During all the development of my project, I really wanted to develop distance communication by moving away from screens.
Collective Intelligence is the new DNA of our society, based on sharing, human contact, openness, and empathy. People have a new approach in dealing with death and cancer, using new systems of immersion and expression to communicate through their emotions. We have chosen to represent this world in an abstract way to convey identities of communication that evolve beyond words and speech.
Our speculative future consists of a sensory-rich emotion database sourced and framed or demonstrated through created artefacts for the context. Its fundamental purpose is communicating cancer through empathetic experiences of family in all its senses. We portrayed three distinct scenarios and their respective implications; a family of strangers dealing with the same condition, a family of blood trying to understand one another and a family of love dealing with the grief that comes with one’s loss.