Studio Apocalypse

Kristina Osborn and Shaunta Butler
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As humans face the existential threat of a warming climate that promises natural disasters and extreme living conditions, our politicians, engineers and scientists are scrambling to create infrastructure to mitigate impending chaos. For centuries, humans have adapted to and thrived in vastly different ecologies and landscapes. In the wake of rising global temperatures, however, large populations of climate refugees will have to quickly adapt to unfamiliar terrain and coexist in urban areas already beyond their capacity. Despite rapidly developing technology and medicine, our future survival is still in question.

For decades, the world of entertainment and science-fiction has imagined alternate realities of augmented cyber-humans and cross-species superheroes for decades. Students will engage with research on local and regional climate issues, learn how to design using 2D and 3D software and tools, and fabricate prototypes of their ideas. In this studio, students will expansively imagine our speculative futures through the lens of climate change, and design devices that encourage and enhance our adaptation capabilities to accelerate the pace of human evolution. 

Studio Apocalypse is set in Providence, Rhode Island in the year 2039.  Students will take an interdisciplinary approach in which they research and explore the New England climate crisis and our future everyday environmental lifestyles, habits, and activities. What will we wear in a near future under climate change?

The word "apocalypse" means “disclosure” or “to take off the cover” or “to unveil”. Studio Apocalypse isn’t solely about potential catastrophic events or utopias; it’s about revealing the human face of climate change 20 years into the future, as well as how we can adapt. How might we redefine our role in nature for a sustainable planet through the items we wear on our bodies? Each groups wearable design will reflect their unique Providence environmental scenarios and 2039 climate projections.