See the exhibition website
Sand is the foundation of cities both ancient and modern. It spans the urbanisation cycle from rural terrain to manufacturing centre to city buildings to artificial islands. It is mined, dredged, manipulated, dissected, mixed, sold, heated, blown, minimised, transformed and used in almost all contemporary design: machines, structures, products, houses, infrastructures, communications systems.
It is the second most used resource on planet Earth after water. Brought up from offshore waters, ocean floors, beaches, riverbeds, or land quarries, the extraction of sand is often a primary cause of the collapse of natural ecosystems. Once it makes its way into cement, things get even worse: concrete production is a major carbon dioxide emitter on the planet. If it were a country, only China and the US would be greater producers of CO2. Whether we recognise it or not, sand is nothing less than the essential building block of modern civilisation which—far from being unlimited—is running out.
As the third chapter to emerge from the GEO—DESIGN exhibition platform, GEO—DESIGN: Sand. The Building Block of Modernity features nine original research-based projects that explore sand as one of the most critical elements of our everyday life—from altered to artificial landscapes, from entrepreneurs to multi-national corporations, from historic failures to new frontiers of design.
GEO—DESIGN: Sand. The Building Block of Modernity was first presented at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, from 17 October to 15 November 2020.
Anna Diljá Sigurðardóttir, Terabytes per Second
Baiba Soma and Romain Laval, Landscope
Bich Tran Quang, Death of the Nine Dragons
Bureau Pas Pareil, Dash World
Elissa Brunato and Christophe Dichmann, Float
Leo Orta, Building Relay
Matteo Dal Lago, Make Up, Made Of
Rawad Baaklini and Tiiu Meiner, Carry on, and so on and so on
Yanjin Wu, 15” Sand Economy
Bureau Pas Pareil
Communications & PR
Raffaela Vandermühlen, Ilka van Steen
Design Academy Eindhoven Executive Board
Joseph Grima, Creative Director
Mechtild van den Hombergh, Director of Organisation
Raf de Keninck, Director Education and Research
Van Abbemuseum Team
Inge Borsje, Project Leader
Diederik Koppelmans and Bart van Geldrop, Technical Team
Neeltje van Gool, Communications & PR
Van Abbemuseum Executive Board
Anastasia van Gennip