erica jewell

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Kingdom of Weeds emerged from a collaboration with Ulla Puggaard. The project proposed to reconfigure the relationship between humans and weeds through research and design experiments. Weeds are defined by their unintentional growth on cultivated land. They are symbols of the anthropocene, an era in which humans impose order and hierarchy on a naturally decentralised, dynamic system. The project gave attention to these unwanted plants and encouraged an understanding of the impact humans have on the natural world. The project culminated in an installation at the London Design Festival.

The installation invited visitors to gather around a rotating dandelion weed and listen to a meditative soundscape generated from the shape of its leaves. The leaves were scanned, traced, and transposed to produce a numerical representation of their contours, which was then reinterpreted as an acoustic waveform. As the weed rotated on the platform, its leaves faded in and out of the soundscape depending on their location relative to the listener. The ritualistic setting aimed to elevate the weed from its low cultural position and to promote empathy with the plant itself, creating a feeling of interconnectedness among different forms of life.