Imagining low-carbon futures

Urban Futures Studio starts new art-science collaboration

purple banner with white rock-like shape and text

Today the Urban Futures Studio starts a new art-science collaboration with artists Julien Thomas and Ekaterina Volkova. This collaboration is centred around imaging the low-carbon future, and is embedded in the PhD project of Lisette van Beek that explores new roles for climate modelling. 'Imagining low-carbon futures' is supported by the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht.

To achieve the goals of the Paris agreement and delimit global warming to well below 2°C requires a stunning effort amounting to rapid and radical transformation towards a low-carbon society. But as climate impacts are becoming visible, it becomes increasingly hard to imagine true alternatives to a catastrophic future. This lack of ‘imaginaries’ of futures, that are both sustainable and just, hamper the transition.

Inspired by these urgent matters, PhD researcher Lisette van Beek and the artist duo will work on an artistic intervention, staged at a public event after the conclusion of the residency in 2022. Rather than ‘communicating science’, the project aims to explore new ways to configure artistic and scientific approaches to imagine low-carbon futures that could incite a more meaningful climate debate.

Meet the Perception Design Studio

Julien Thomas and Ekaterina Volkova work together under the name ‘The Perception Design Studio’.

black and white potrait of Julien Thomas

Julien Thomas is an artist and social designer who explores the threshold between the spoken and the unspoken. He develops performative installations and processes in which the dynamics of objects and spaces are jointly explored and discerned through movement, rhythm, sound and voice.

Black and white portrait of Ekaterina Volkova

Ekaterina Volkova is an artist and interactive media designer exploring critical making as a response to large-scale political issues. Through her work she brings together material, visual, and codified strategies to explore issues of democracy, conflict, diaspora and labour.

Urban Futures Studio

The Urban Futures Studio (UFS) is a transdisciplinary institute devoted to studying positive futures and ways to get there. The UFS is a small group of researchers that explores existing futures practices as well as initiates experiments to imagine climate, energy and urban futures. Past examples of interventions include The Energetic Odyssey, the Post-fossil City Contest and the Carbon Ruins exhibition.

For more information contact Lisette van Beek