ADS7: Something in the Air – Politics of the Atmosphere
Rosa is a Master of Architecture Student at the Royal College of Art. She previously studied her undergraduate at Manchester School of Architecture, where she was awarded the Dean's Award for Academic Achievement, and the Ian Crofton Award for Meritus achievement. At the RCA, she studied in ADS 3: Offsetting the Offshore in her first year of studies, where she focused on the spoils of the oil industry in the North Sea. Her dissertation addressed themes around the rights of nature and the political discourse of extraction. Continuing her interests from the previous year, she has studied in ADS7: Politics of the Atmosphere, which has focused on climate politics and the geopolitical influence on the atmosphere. She currently works as a freelance architectural researcher and spatial practitioner, focussing on ecological systems, uncovering networks of metabolic entanglements, and understanding systems of power. Rosa is passionate about climate education within the field of architecture and has been involved with the Architecture Education Declares network. Rosa received the RIBA Wren Insurance Scholarship during her second year at RCA and was shortlisted for the RIBA West Awards during her first year. A portion of Rosa’s research and design work for ADS7, led by Elise Hunchuck and Marco Ferrari and Jingru (Cyan) Cheng, will be featured in Sky River, a digital and physical installation, part of Critical Zones: Observatories for Earthly Politics. It will be on display at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, until February 28, 2021.
Graduating in a time of global upheaval, pandemic and political reckoning is a strange yet intriguing time to be a spatial practitioner. Rosa hopes to work collaboratively and independently to contribute towards the heightened need to imagine restructured worlds within urban spaces and global networks. She aims to use her understanding of research, mapping, and spatial studies,developed during her time at RCA, to contribute towards the essential work needed in these tumultuous times.
Rosa’s thesis examines themes of polluted airs, global metabolism, multispecies coexistence, and ways of collectively living in damaged grounds and airs, questioning how we might break down the conception of deadly landscapes through considering metabolic entanglements within these landscapes. She hopes to continue researching aeroplankton and their interactions with the ground in the context of climate breakdown conversations, specifically within discourses around the colonisation and toxification of the atmosphere. She hopes that her studies of atmospheric assemblages will contribute towards an understanding of our damaged atmospheres as lively, living, resilient, and weird. She will pursue the threads of this research through her independent practice, continuing to work as a collaborative freelance architectural researcher and spatial practitioner alongside practitioners, artists and activists.
In The Pink examines lives that exist and flourish within the so-called deathly cloudscapes and landscapes that are found in the border regions between Norway and Russia. The toxic and metallic footprints of the death clouds onto the ground have created dead zones, dead forests, dead lakes, dead taxa, and dead people. However, certain lifeforms, such as opportunistic fungi spores, thrive in the toxic air and the damaged soils. These spores seek out the toxic, ‘deadly’ aerosols, living on and within them. The pairing of toxic lively aerosol and living aeroplankton creates conjoined matters of life and non-life within just one cloud particulate. Through a study of these weird assemblages, In The Pink disassembles the concepts of dead landscapes, dead atmospheres, and dead clouds.
The territory of Nikel is damaged; but the act of calling them and their inhabitants dead, as residue, or as finished, is a dangerous way to treat the ruins of capitalist airs and grounds.
The project produces typologies of spaces and times that learn to flourish within the footprints of the damaged airs, through learning from and living amongst, the weird assemblages that currently thrive within it. A future for the Russian town of Nikel is imagined and structured through a shifting calendar of events and rituals. Metabolic Devices act within the so-called ‘dead zone’ of Nikel to reframe the metallic transformation of the territory and to question ways in which the landscape is inhabited and politicised. Storytelling is used as a device to imagine communities of multispecies coexistence — and the very spaces that enable them to form. The stories that unfold below — ‘Tapping Birch’, ‘Culturing Withdrawal’, ‘A Spore Washout’, and ‘In Living Memory’ — all act to tell the tales of resilient entanglement, found somewhere between the ground and the air.