program 2022

Designing Metabolic Relations -
How can build Regenerative Systems?

August 20 - September 4, 2022

"The best thing about the dieDAS Fellowship, which takes place every summer, is the fact that you come into contact with so many different ideas and visions here, with individuals and groups who come from the most diverse disciplines. This multiplicity of voices makes it possible to look at the complexity of the issues we deal with here from different angles. The environment there also ensures that there is enough time to digest and process all these ideas alone or together with the other fellows."

- Eugenia Morpurgo, Head Mentor

For the 2022 edition of the dieDAS Fellowship-Program, we welcomed a wonderful new cohort of young designers to our Saaleck campus: Adrian Pepe, Giulia Pompilj, Nico Alexandroff, and Steffie de Gaetano. The fellows worked closely with prestigious mentors to explore the 2022 theme: Designing Metabolic Relations.

The 2022 theme, conceived by dieDAS Artistic Director Maurizio Montalti and Head Mentor Eugenia Morpurgo, built on past years’ programs, inviting our fellows to move beyond popular, often surface-level notions of sustainability to investigate highly focused, regenerative design solutions—namely, the transformative nature of metabolic processes.

Metabolism is the continued flow of biochemical reactions and energy that animate living systems, allowing them to reincorporate organic matter into living webs of exchange. Inspired by the beautiful and ingenious interdependence of living systems, our program embraced a multi-species approach in which deeply entangled bodies, both visible and invisible, cohabit and support one another.

Through theoretical and practical hands-on experimentation—including expert lectures, excursions into the surrounding region, and onsite work with mycelium-based materials and techniques—the dieDAS fellows investigated the impact of metabolic processes on our relationships to one another and our surroundings, as well as possible new paths for restoring, nurturing, and generating flourishing conditions for ecosystems, economies, and living agents.

Using the lens of regenerative design, the dieDAS 2022 Fellowship-Program functioned as a space for critical, creative production, encouraging fellows to actively engage in questioning dominant narratives and traditional practices through the collision of ideas, concepts, and techniques.

The program culminated in an exhibition titled in/un becoming, which showcased the results of the fellows’ collaborative on-site workshop. The exhibition was presented during the 2022 dieDAS walk + talk summit at the historic site of the Saalecker Werkstaetten as well as the prestigious 2022 Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

"This year's program provided the opportunity for positive encounters and wide-ranging, critical discussions. We all sought to understand and practice inclusion, transparency, coherence and humility. And we all opened ourselves to new perspectives and sensibilities - human and non-human."

- Maurizio Montalti, Artistic Director

"dieDAS brought together different practitioners and positions and created a space for close encounters, mutual learning and understanding. The fellowship is a kind of catalyst and encouraged us to build new bridges for collaboration and cross-fertilisation of ideas."

- Steffie de Gaetano, Belgium, Fellow 2022

"The dieDAS Fellowship is unique, unlike anything I have participated in before. It creates an environment and comes up with a generous offer to think and try out. The program also allows for exchange between the fellows and the current best minds and partners in the industry to discuss together the challenges we are currently facing."

- Adrian Pepe, Lebanon, Fellow 2022

Marzona Stiftung Neue Saalecker Werkstätten
Photo: Ignant Production

Wildrausch Workshop
Eatable Plants

Workshop with Lili Carr of Feral Atlas

Guided Tour at Gradutation Tower in Bad Kösen

Algae and Salt-the character of matter
Workshop Prof. Julia Lohmann

Lecture Maurizio Montalti
Ccollaborating with Fungi. Metabolic processes for regenerative materials and products

Seaweed Colouration

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The dieDAS Fellowship-Program 2022 was led by Artistic Director Maurizio Montalti and Head Mentor Eugenia Morpurgo. Well-known mentors and lecturers in 2022 included architect and activist Prof. Ronald Rael, architect Lili Carr, designer Mariana Martinez Balvanera of Cocina CoLaboratorio, Prof. Rachel Armstrong, expert in regenerative architecture, designer Prof. Julia Lohmann, Prof. Jan Wurm, expert in regenerative design, Christine Rauch, expert in edible wild plants, Prof. Jasper Cepl, expert for modern architecture, the chef and expert for fermentation David Zilber, the architectural historian and monument conservator Prof. Daniela Spiegel, the certified meditation teacher and gallery owner Catherine Pfisterer, the researcher, teacher and founder of Zoöp Klaas Kuitenbrouwer as well as Jens Freitag from the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) and Anne van Leeuwen from the regenerative farm Bodemzicht in the Netherlands.

Our heartfelt thanks go to all of them for their time, commitment and support.