In awe with nature’s rhythms in our tech-driven era
In our fast-paced world driven by constant data flow and the impactful presence of AI, can intentionally mimicking nature’s rhythm offer not just a visual display, but also a meaningful antidote to our disconnection from our natural being?
In our fast-paced world, data streams flow exponentially, driven by the ever-expanding influence of AI. These developments go beyond only technological progress; they are reshaping every facet of our lives and interactions; in our work dynamics, communication methods, and decision-making processes. Often taken by the very devices we hold in our hands, they are reshaping our perception of the world and altering our behaviours and connection to the world around us.
“Keeping up with technological changes is challenging, there is a disconnection from the natural flow of nature, overshadowed by screen addiction and the fleeting dopamine hits from the constant stimulation”
Remco van der Craats, Creative Director EDHV
Through its installation Flow, Dutch Invertuals, in collaboration with EDHV and designers Béla Bezold, Ralf Gloudeman and Teresa Fernández-Pello, reflected on this narrative. Dutch Invertuals, known for typically inviting a range of international designers to interpret a theme, departed from their usual format. Instead, they collaborated to craft a Gesamtkunstwerk. It was their first time creating an installation with designers subordinating themselves to the whole, aiming to tell a story that didn’t showcase individual designers’ work but instead presented a unified narrative.
Designed by Béla Bezold, droplets accumulated water through a nozzle into a clear plastic dome. The droplet started to slowly run down layered leaf shapes, designed by Ralf Gloudemans. Teresa Fernández-Pello drew inspiration from traditional fountain symbolism, combined with AI-formed shapes and CNC-cut felt. Her work, often initially 2D, evolved into 3D assemblies, exploring ‘digital’ symbolism. EDHV created minimally designed pieces in upholstered ochre yellow and light pink, uniting all other elements and materials for water to flow.
Wool’s natural hydrophobic properties were utilised, causing water to gather into large drops on the textiles, sliding down the installation gracefully, producing a mesmerising effect. Drawing upon the inherent sensitivity of Dutch Invertuals’ choices of colours and materials resulted in a carefully crafted design language.
“We experimented with various textures and materials and eventually found a high-quality woven fabric, normally used in furniture. The tactility of the felt and wool created a new visual language that suited the project”
Wendy Plomp, Curator and Art Director at Dutch Invertuals
The piece mimicked the slowness of nature’s rhythms, a quality according to Plomp we have been detached from for a while. ‘Observers witnessed the droplet on the heated surface at the end of the installation and wanted to metaphorically bring the droplet back to life, completing the circle.’ according to Plomp.
The installation created moments of undivided attention and focus, creating a sense of connection and wonder. Limited to only five attendees, the project successfully shifted the focus away from mobile screens, encouraging a sense of presence at the moment.
“The Flow exhibition was a deliberate attempt for visitors to pause, slow down, observe, and simply allow themselves to be and appreciate the small things in life”
In a time where addressing climate change requires a collective reevaluation of our relationship with nature, projects like ‘Flow’ become more than artistic installations —they become essential reminders of the importance of reconnecting with the natural world. In these moments of reflection and connection lies the key to not only appreciating the present but also cultivating a more sustainable and harmonious future.
Edhv, Architects of Identity
Dutch Design Foundation
Marica De Michele