Satellite Projects
Project
Looking for Stigmergy: An Archive at the Ends of the Earth
Designer
Martina Muzi
Project description

Supported by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Istanbul.

Stigmergy can be understood as a mode of collective survival based on group intelligence. It does not depend on the performance of a single agent or individual, but on the repetition of simple actions or activities made by multiple organisms at once.

Looking for Stigmergy is an ongoing inquiry into the languages of design and its systems. It is a search for new paradigms and tools that travel across disciplines and via modes of existence beyond the human. It addresses the epistemology of design in order to consider and incorporate not only man as a transforming force, but also other organisms and systems. It considers that social atomisation, political distrust and the perceived inevitability of progressive impoverishment are the reactions to a one-sided story of how we belong to and shape the networks that surround us, just as the mass extinction of species is the consequence of a one-sided trajectory of human civilisation.

Looking for Stigmergy assumes the shape of a growing digital and physical archive, which expands, contracts and morphs depending on the context or institution in which it operates. This episode is composed of units of information and enquiries that cross Earth in geological strata and geographical terrains through the lens of the stigmergy mechanism and its relation to the concept of empathy. The archive is ‘fed’ through temporary exhibitions, pedagogical experiments, round-table conversations, conferences and publications, through physical and non-physical means. Its backbone is composed of the work completed by Design Academy Eindhoven MA students (Stigmergy•Family•Studio, Spring 2018 and Stigmergy collective research project, Spring 2020), on the subject of stigmergy and design, as well as a growing body of research and conversations curated by the ‘Looking for Stigmergy’ working group.

Biography

Initiated by Martina Muzi (Italy), a designer, curator and tutor at Design Academy Eindhoven, the Looking for Stigmergy curatorial team is composed of Jeannette Petrik (writer and designer), Chiara Clarke Siravo (historian and curator), Tamar Shafrir (writer and educator) Irene Stracuzzi (graphic designer and educator) and Martina Muzi.

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