Expedition Æqualis is an ongoing design-research project by Dutch Invertuals in collaboration with The Future Laboratory, and Reon Brand (Philips Design). We envision a future in which diverse species can coexist, flourish and contribute to mutual benefits, shared meaning and resilience. Together, we explore the building blocks for an eco-centric future.
As a civilization, humanity has reached a point of no return. Around the world, we are facing the perils of accelerating climate change and ecosystem collapse, brought about by our own relentless pursuit of material progress. Difficult choices lie ahead, with no easy solutions to navigating the uncertain future, which may ultimately threaten our own survival as a species. This dilemma was the catalyst for a study called ‘Co-emerging Futures’, published in 2019 by Reon Brand, Principal Designer at Philips. The study distilled four key future directions to be pursued by humanity, driven by different mindsets. Expedition Æqualis focuses on one of these directions: Gaia. We believe that this is the only direction that will enable an ethical and healthy planet where biodiverse ecosystems can thrive and survive.
To heal the planet and safeguard our future existence, we need to leverage and learn from the remarkable resilience of nature. It is constantly emerging and evolving like an intelligent adaptive algorithm, exploring options and optimizing itself to regenerate and flourish in changing conditions. As humanity we need thriving natural ecosystems to live healthy and meaningful lives. Therefore, instead of further exploiting and disrupting nature, we need to deprogram our anthropocentric approach and learn how to be part of nature again on equal terms. What if we could have a change of heart and become explorers who seek to understand, connect and relate to nature in a mutually beneficial way, not for exploitation, but for rekindling our humility, love and respect for our host: planet Earth.
‘We need to transform our relationship with nature through a perpetual expedition to find and re establish deep connections, where our lives become intricately interwoven in natural systems.’ –Wendy Plomp
The quest of Expedition Æqualis is to employ design as a creative force to inspire and support humanity to transition to an eco-centric existence. Design has always been a powerful tool to rethink and rebuild the world we live in. Together with designers, researchers, and other makers and thinkers we create speculative probes for a better future, conversation pieces that explore nature’s principles, and spark curiosity to live a different kind of life. In this journey, we bridge both the physical and digital world, so that they can benefit from each other.
During Dutch Design Week, Expedition Aequalis presents work from eight designers who have translated their vision into tangible design manifestations. The exhibition features work from Johanna Seelemann, Dae Uk Kim, Delphine Lejeune, Edhv, Moonseop Seo x Katharina Sook Wilting, Anna Resei, Studio ThusThat, and Audrey Large x Theóphile Blandet.
Visit the Expedition Aequalis website