Future Remnants — Material research

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Future Remnants explores the human influence on the evolutionary development of mineral formation.

Future Remnants is a research into the influence of man on the evolutionary development of mineral formation. Based on scientific research that the surge in mineral diversity over the past fifty years can be attributed to man, the series of experiments can be seen as an advance on what is to come. Man is responsible for a large scale redistribution of matter, creating situations that lead to unintended and unexpected reactions. Using only widely available metals and solutions, applied in everyday life, the project demonstrates how credible the alteration of earth’s geology by mankind is while raising the question on what will emerge from our actions in deep time.


Steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper objects have been exposed to low chemical household solutions from a minimum of two days to a maximum of seven days. Creating a large diversity in beautiful patterns, crystals, and colors within this extremely short timespan, the project evokes and juxtaposes a sense of worry and hope. If such effects can be reached with chemicals considered relatively safe and harmless, what is already happening in the landscape and under the earth’s surface as a result of much larger scale chemical waste dumping? As the illegal drug industry leaches chemicals in the soil or waterways, and sand excavations are filled with polluted soils, are the reactions neutralizing damaging effects or will they create an even more hazardous situation? And can the bizarre range of new materials and minerals that arise from the reactions serve a purpose?  Combining speculative design with chemistry experiments and material research, the installation aims to give us a glimpse into our future landscape.


Future Remnants was developed as a response to the theme Mutant Matter by Dutch Invertuals in collaboration with Franklin Till, and was presented during Milan Design Week 2018.

Photography by Dutch Invertuals / Ronald Smits

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