Reflections on sustainable practices

Join MDEF students as they immerse into the creative ecosystem of HANGAR

  • May 9, 2024

Recently, students of the Master in Design for Emergent Futures (MDEF) embarked on an insightful journey to Hangar, accompanied by MDEF co-director Laura Benitez.

The visit commenced with a narrative on the historical significance of Poblenou and Hangar’s pivotal role in safeguarding the area against rampant gentrification. Hangar’s buildings have managed to provide a place for artistic expression and innovation for the past 23 years. Within its halls, the space contains a myriad of facilities including labs, artist studios, and residencies. 

MDEF students got the opportunity to visit the wetlab – a space that, through research, delves into the ethos of experimental practices. Clear parallels were distinguished between the methodologies and approaches of MDEF and wetlab, in their shared commitment to exploration and inquiry beyond conventional boundaries. Both entities embrace a holistic approach, valuing the process as much as the outcome, thereby fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

Conversations during the visit encompassed a spectrum of topics, from botanical research to biohacking methodologies, prompting discussions on the ethical dimensions of artistic practice. As discussions unfolded, students seized the opportunity to showcase their projects and engage in dialogue surrounding them. Topics ranging from plant research to biohacking practices sparked fervent debates, with ethical considerations taking center stage.

In particular, conversations surrounding mycelium-related research shed light on the ethical dilemmas inherent in working with organic materials. Questions regarding the afterlife of artistic endeavors and our responsibility toward waste management underscored the importance of conscientious decision-making within creative practices.

A prevailing theme throughout the visit was the imperative of waste consciousness. The waste in the lab is made up of living materials, such as fungi and mycelium. Within the confines of the wet lab, every individual assumes responsibility for the management of this waste, which embodies a collective ethos of environmental stewardship. Here, each decision carries ethical implications, prompting introspection and accountability at every turn.

The integration of external projects into the discourse served to enrich the students’ understanding of real-world applications and augment their academic pursuits.

The essence of the visit was twofold – on one side leaving students with newfound knowledge and from another providing them with renewed sense of purpose in shaping a more sustainable and equitable future.

About Hangar

Hangar is a center for art research and production. The center offers artists an array of services and a framework that allows for the research and development of art productions in their entirety, or partially. It follows up on the results by including the projects in various networks and platforms, or by detecting possibilities for their incorporation within other fields.

Discover the Master in Design for Emergent Futures here.

May 9, 2024