Sunday, June 22, 2008

Erxell's virus furniture launch

Are we earth’s virulent virus
Our design process needs a different perspective.

Is Man a virus destroying his host? We operate under the guise that we are an advanced creature. However we do not act very advanced. We appear so insecure that if there were a more advanced creature on earth, we would have set about destroying it along time ago. The threat would have been greater than trying to understand our advanced neighbour. Like cancer our suburbs erupt, blighting a perfect landscape. Black tar and concrete oozes over pristine fields. Monoxide blankets the once clear skies. If this is evidence of advancement, then we are really just fooling ourselves. Advanced systems or species create environments of self-preservation first; this is not what mankind practices. We act more like a virus, as we parasitically stifle the fragile life systems of this earth. We are hell bent on self-destruction and we are actually getting it right. Like any virus we kill our host and hope to god another one swings by before it’s to late.

When analysing mankind’s cities one cannot help but wonder how far removed they are from the beautiful landscape that used to be before the onslaught of man. Our cities ooze tar and concrete all over a once abundant life filled landscape. Where once thousands of creatures and plant life lived and died, now a fraction of different, introduced forms of life inhabit. For us to inhabit a space we change completely the natural order of the Eco system. We do not find a way around our environment; we obliterate all that was once the environment.

Mankind’s very small time on our earth and his ability to wipe out functioning Eco systems instantaneously, make man an extremely dangerous virus. The earth is millions of years old, with Eco systems equally as old. We have managed in a split second of time to bring these environments to there knees. Even viruses that prey on us don’t kill their host as fast. Given the age of the earth and the time man has been on earth. When comparing our life span and viruses that effect us. The virus that is man would kill us in 0.000000000001 of a second. Make us an incredibly dangerous form of parasite yet. As understanding increases of our fragile earth a small part of mankind is stemming the tide of wholesale abuse. Imagine if cancer had small parts of its collective that thought altruistically. We would need only to encourage the growth of that small segment of the collective in order to overcome the threat on the human body.

To bring about change in human perspective is difficult. To try and educate people to stop abusing our fragile earth is near impossible. Man will always have the element of self abuse within his ranks and to try and control these individuals is not really the answer. Man will only effect change when his life or resources are coming to an end. We are simply very selfish and will only leave our ingrained habits when the water rises above our heads or the heat of our own fire starts to burn our own flesh. That moment is fast approaching. –

Where to from here?

Our city architects have expounded their wisdom and our builders have touted their talents. We have many examples of mankind’s talents. Man does not try and live simply within his means. We have tar and concrete up to our eyeballs. We use every form of soap and insecticide to sanitise our already sanitised living spaces. Few cultures and human forms of life leave little or no scar on the landscape.

What is our answer?

First and foremost we need to humble ourselves and stop thinking the sun circles around us. By this I mean we need to stop thinking we are the smartest life form on the planet. If we where so smart we wouldn’t have a fraction of the problems we do. We are one of the only life forms on this planet that practices wholesale abuse on an unprecedented scale. (Compared to Earth’s other passengers) If antelope or squirrels showed as huge degrees of difference between individuals, as humans do, we would have desert squirrels living on the ocean. We have a vast amount to still learn and we need to acknowledge this lack of knowledge, unpack our existing building processes and start rebuilding our environments with the sensitivity of a few select cultures who have understood clearly our place and space in the universe.

Our structures and cladding could be a living entity. We could develop architecture that protects us but it itself is alive. This is not new thinking however its new to me. So when our living structure starts dying we can immediately address the fundamental issues of our system. The structure itself acts as a thermometer to our destructive tendencies. We need to grow our structures as a shell grows around its organism. The individual organism is responsible for its own sometimes-living shelter. When we work with organisms like the organisms creating coral in our oceans to create our shelters, we might have advanced to the next level of our survival on this planet. We might start to understand the synergy we where designed to live by. To have as many smaller forms of life hang off the system we manage. With applying this concept maybe earth will give up more of her millions of secrets.

We think to permanently about our homes. Homes must provide shelter for us today not necessarily be around in 10 000 years time. Each successive generation should have the privilege to build their own structures. Learning from past endeavours and improving on future concepts. Our structures at the moment are permanent fixtures. Along with the scar of the quarry that the stones for our homes where hewn out of. Our building materials could themselves be alive; they could provide an unseen energy, which flows through our human experience allowing us to become curators of our own systems. The only type of construction on earth I can think of at present that fits into this thought process is the polyps of coral and the small creatures that create them. They provide a massive labyrinth for billions of life forms to benefit from.
This form of construction using living building material will form an early warning system to potential environmental issues. Like the rose trees at the edge of a vineyard detect problems before the vines fail.

Mankind will reach the next level of his advancement when his energy to put back into the universe is greater than his energy to take out. We are incredibly destructive creatures who need to stop feeling where the top of the food chain and start realising we are in actual fact a very, very small part of a massive age old system. Of which we have not found our correct place in yet. It appears through instinct, wisdom most of the planets other passengers are able to get along without interrupting the natural flow of things. We can learn so much from these systems around us – and we have the wisdom to find the best system that will best suite our needs. Unfortunately we are still quite far from this point in our history.

It is with great pleasure that QJD Design studio and Erxell design and marketing have calibrated to create the recycled plastic virus furniture range. The aim of this furniture is to remind us daily where we fit in the food chain. Subliminally we will hopefully slowly lose the perception that we are the top of the food chain and start slowly trying to hinge as many smaller ecosystems off of our lifestyle. By creating furniture that promotes a message and is vibrant and colourful we hope to be part of the collective virus that is looking towards stemming the tide of mankinds wholesale abuse.

Quinton J Damstra