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‘Mediterranea Creatura’ is a research study on the potential repurpose of red Mediterranean coral waste (small branches, grains, dust) resulting from the old craft of coral sculpting traditional from the Italian regions of Sicilia, Campania, Liguria and Sardegna. Material, cultural, ethical and environmental issues are explored in order to imagine and generate ecological artefacts. ‘Archeologia Futura’, is the application into product design of the knowledge gathered through ‘Mediterranea Creatura’. It proposes artefacts able to become ‘ecological relics’ at the end of their life cycle. These, returned to their original marine ecosystem, are ideally able to host the growth of the organisms they once originated from. An exercise of ‘reverse archaeology’.

Entwined in mythology, folklore, craft and culture, ethical matters are pillars to this project. The designer poses to the audience, and to herself, a series of questions: Can craft be a vehicle for human expression without endangering other living beings and the ecosystem? Can ‘the craft of design’ foster new logics of production able to nurture the shift from the ideal of ‘precious for the economy’ to ‘precious for the natural collective’? Alongside environmental ethics, the issue of disappearing crafts and local tacit knowledge: can tacit knowledge be processed/translated into the language of contemporary technology so to allow human practices of making to embark in a coherent and informed ecological path?

By tapping into the culture behind the craft and the biological identity of corals, the project aims to addressing the themes of material tacit culture, and the role of craft in post-anthropocenic futures through practices of regenerative design.

With this new project, the designer wants to stress the ethical issue that must urge and drive humans when considering the use of the matter of which natural elements and beings are made of. Alongside environmental ethics, the issue of disappearing crafts and local tacit knowledge.

While conducting a theoretical research, exploring the biology of the red corals, the anthropological culture and the many aspects of the craft built during the centuries in the Mediterranean region, the designer is envisioning a material transposition that could benefit a sustainable ecology where humans and other non-human beings are equal actors in the same ecosystem, so that the practices of the one are not destructive for the other.