A Little Big Apocalypse
Focused on climate change in all its forms, the Final Synthesis Laboratory of the master in Communication Design revolved around, data and complex systems visualization.
The micro area that my group had to work on was 'small islands', which are naturally exposed to extraordinary weather events, because of their location in the tropical and equatorial areas. For this reason they are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Predictions show that the overall situation is getting worse: rising sea levels, storms, cyclones and temperature are rising. These macro changes lead to the decrease of fresh water available, to unpredictable changes in the migration of fish and the increase of temperatures, costs and competition.These changes have vast consequences, in both environmental and socio-economic structure: in fact, the economy of small islands is based on tourism, agriculture and fisheries. In addition, small islands are totally dependent, in terms of energy, from fossil fuels. Another problem is that the majority of the population (and therefore all the main services, infrastructure and transport) are particularly vulnerable as located on the coast. The environmental problem should be a boost to think about sustainable development plans. Too often, however, there is not the political will to achieve them completely.
A little big apocalypse
The first task was a poster of 70 centimeters times one meter. We decided to focus on the representation of the relationships between the various actors that have an impact on small islands and the numerical representation of the extraordinary events that have occurred in the last fifty years. On a visual level, it has been used a mix of vector graphic and watercolours.
Final Synthesis Laboratory
With: Elisa Angelico, Marco Agosta, Federica D'Urzo, Elisa Raciti
Material: Pencils, Ecoline
Software: Photoshop CS5, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5, After Effects CS5, Garage Band
The second delivery consisted in the investigation of the way in which a specific debate is seen on the Internet. The tools used were many, the most important results of the research were those of semantic analysis, to see what they talk about the various actors (in this case, the web pages). The debate developed around the topic of how environmental migration, although relatively new, has evolved very rapidly in recent years. There are different opinions on the subject: some focus on what are the reasons behind migration arguing that the real motivation is linked more to economic and environmental problems.
Others focus on what could be the solution to the problem, trying to define plans to help the refugees. Some other people, in the end, start debates about which term is more appropriate, immigrants or refugees. Meanwhile, the islanders have to address the issue, and fight against what is becoming an every day problem. Because of its many aspects, it was very interesting to analyze the controversy on the web, paying particular attention to four small islands (Carteret Islands, Kiribati, Maldives and Tuvalu), which over the past decade have experienced the problem at their own expenses, trying to understand whether the situation they have to live today will be lived by someone else tomorrow.
The last delivery had to be a video that could synthesize the data research, personal observations and how we collected this information. The hardest part has been to find a balance between the necessary explanation of technical concepts and the necessity to communicate it to the widest audience possible. This work of mediation was particularly difficult because we were busy in choosing what had to be communicated, knowing that we could not under any circumstances communicate all the complexity and the multiple faces of the topic. This complexity is due also by the fact that migration as a result of climate change involves climatic, social and economic knowledge, and we had to explain how and why everything has been designed.