Artecology.SPACE: A Collaboration Between Art and Ecology
What if our physical environment was crafted from the amalgamation of art, science and ecological design? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, it isn’t so surreal anymore. Artecology.SPACE is a mixed discipline of ecology and art that deals with biological relationships between organisms & the built environment. Ian Boyd, Director at Artecology, talks about the importance of building an ecological environment and the exciting projects that they are currently commissioning. Read on!
How did Artecology come to be? Tell us the story.
Founded in 2015, Artecology is a collaboration between the public arts collective Eccleston George and ecological consultancy Arc Consulting. We had been working together for some time trying to find new ways to combine art and science and shape better places for people and wildlife. However, we wanted to take things further by creating urban environments that would bring ornament and aesthetics back into public places and simultaneously create hotspots for biodiversity. And so, we have embarked on a fascinating mission to design bio-receptive architecture with an ecological design.
You have partnered with Exeter University to support ‘Climate Change: Solutions’. Tell us about it.
From geological time to human time, from geogenic cycles over eons to the decades of accelerated anthropogenic change, much of our work in Artecology is about creating refuge habitats for intertidal sea life threatened by ‘coastal squeeze’. However, in 2017 we had an excellent graduate from Exeter, Daneen Cowling, working with us on Artecology projects and on her MSc research into sea chemistry.
Through Daneen, and given the relevance of our location (the beautiful Sandown Bay on the Isle of Wight) and our work, we teamed up with the fine folks at Exeter. This way we provided a special page on our website with a section on Artecology in the course content. The course is free and is part of the fantastic FutureLearn program. Read more about it here.
What are the projects Artecology is currently commissioning?
We have just sent a batch of new Vertipools for a large sea defense project along the River Arun – this is a world’s first! Also, we are working with architects and bryologists to combine functional, ornamental and ecological designs in the creation of complex folded and patterned cladding, tiles, and panels for new and old buildings.
How important have partnerships been in furthering Artecology’s mission?
Partnership and collaboration are at the very heart of Artecology’s view of the world – they are the engines of our creation! We work with universities, agencies, regulators, engineers, architects, planners, housing associations, schools, and communities.
Collaboration is an effective way to kickstart action, get past the barriers we too often invent for ourselves and for our organizations. Our work is about natural and social capital, about public places and public life, about biological health and ecological resilience, and these are all fundamentally shared experiences.
Why did you choose a .SPACE domain name? How is it helping you develop a unique online brand?
We chose .Space because it is a clear and intuitive domain name that denotes a clean and uncluttered web address – just what we needed to get the Artecology name out into the world! However, Artecology is all about space, about volumes and areas in the urban environment and about our shared uses and experiences of these spaces with the natural world. I’m certain that this congruity between the name and purpose has also helped to reinforce our message.