THE WALKING GARDEN
GRADUATION PROJECT, Interdisciplinary Arts, 2022
*Page revised during the summer of 2023, one year later
THE YEAR IS 2085 - CIVILIANS HAVE A NEW OBJECTIVE: TO BUILD A WEARABLE, MODULATED PROTOTYPE ON WHICH PLANTS GROW TO EXCHANGE NUTRITION AND SHELTER. IN RETURN, ONE IS FORCED TO SHARE THEIR AUTONOMY THROUGH A SYMBIOSIS THAT REQUIRES ATTENTION TO SURVIVE; DICTATING ONES ACTIONS AND BEHAVIOUR AS THEY SPREAD OUT OVER THE WASTELANDS OF DESERTIFICATION. THE PLANTS MUST STAY ALIVE IF YOU HOPE TO AS WELL, AT LEAST UNTIL THE NEXT OASIS.
The Walking Garden is an interdisciplinary project merging art and speculative design, inspired by my upbringing in the Khaleej, and the elusive closed culture of Harmala.
As a final work, I produced a modular bodysuit out of biodegradable materials such as bioplastic and gypsum. Following my time in the Middle East, I started inching closer to Sufi phenomenology and biophilic practises which ultimately bled into an esoteric and speculative methodology.
Through the lens of speculative design, I extrapolated a potential future, represented by an artefact (the suit) to generate a moral discussion about our growing dissonance towards the biosphere and role within it. Could we end up here one day? Would we want to?
Available on this page is documentation of my exhibitions, wherein the suit was not worn, but displayed as a relict of a future that may be lost as quickly as it was conceived. The prototype is fragile and difficult to wear. Upon the completion of this project, it became apparent that a prototype is not enough for several reasons. Firstly, something bothered me about leaving this project in the archives of speculative history. While based on the premise of a future, this idea was viably conceived in the present and could exist in a completed state 'today'. Is it worth it to try? I do believe reviving the project would yield intriguing results as my quest to reframe the relationship between nature and technology matures.
ABOVE: Installation details from 'The Walking Garden' at de Meldkamer, Maastricht, and 'Ticket to the Future' at Omstand, Arnhem, 2022
RIGHT: publication features - METROPOLIS M EINDEXAMENS 2022 and TICKET TO THE FUTURE