The Insect Project – Resilience Part I

Resilient materials and production with, by and for insects

We focused on insects – as material suppliers, as producers, as recyclers – as partners in the search for resilient strategies in dealing with materials. Insects come in an incredible variety – some highly specialised, some extremely adaptable. Insects are often overlooked and underestimated. For example, farming is not a human phenomenon: Ants keep aphids and cultivate fungi in large-scale, well-tempered halls; wasps print complex three-dimensional geometries with waterproof paper. Beetles and butterflies shimmer in impressive colours – even without dyes or pigments. Mealworms digest EPP. Unfortunately, many species are threatened by climate change. However, some will also benefit. Do we face these with fear of plagues and bugs or do we see them as an opportunity to develop future-proof strategies together? We also looked at the subject of resilience. What does it mean to be more resilient in dealing with crises and which crises are meant? How can we become more resilient? What can we learn from insects?

In the end, the students developed resilient material strategies and production methods by, with and for insects.

The results will be presented in November 2024 together with the subsequent semester project “The Plant Project – Resilience Part II” in the exhibition “Futures: Materials and Design of Tomorrow” exhibition at the GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts.

supported by:

Prof. Mareike Gast
Karl Schikora
Andreas Wagner
level:3rd year BA and Master