Part two of The World Around's Earth Day symposium features Aric Chen and Thomas Thwaites

Curator Aric Chen and designer Thomas Thwaites discuss their work in the second part of our Virtual Design Festival collaboration with The World Around, which also features short films by Kalyanee Mam and Apichatpong Weerasthakul.

The World Around's Earth Day 2020 symposium, which we are broadcasting today as part of Virtual Design Festival, features talks, presentations, films and essays by over twenty visionaries at the forefront of ecological design.

The second session starts with a conversation between Malika Leiper and filmmaker Mam, who will screen her short film Lost World. Set in Cambodia, it tells the story of land being sold and exported from under her feet.

Still from Lost World film by Kalyanee Mam
Kalyanee Mam screens her short film Lost World

This is followed by a conversation between Mariana Pestana, curator of the 2020 Istanbul Design Biennial, and Alessandra Covini and Giovanni Bellotti of Rotterdam-based Studio Ossidiana, who will discuss their work at the intersection of architecture, visual arts and design.

Shanghai curator Chen then gives us an insight into his State of Extremes at the Design Museum Holon in Holon, Israel, which had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chen also speaks to designer and writer Thwaites, who wrote a book about living on all fours with prosthetic limbs as a goat (pictured top), about the ages of extremes we are currently living through.

Studio Ossidiana
Studio Ossidiana presents work in the second session of The World Around symposium

The session ends with a new short film by Thai filmmakerWeerasthakul, who also reflects with his friend Andrea Lissoni on his newfound relationship with his home

The World Around symposium takes place on the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970, which saw 20 million people in the USA demonstrate against the damage human activity causes the natural environment.

It is the second event organised by The World Around, a platform for architecture and design discussions founded last year by Galilee, Diego Marroquin and Alexandra Hodkowski. The online programme replaces a physical conference that The World Around was planning, which had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the second of three sessions that make up the symposium, which is structured around three themes titled Rethink, Reimagine and Recreate. The first session featured discussions with designers including Nelly Ben Hayoun and Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi.

These talks will be followed by an interview with collaborative architecture practice Design Earth conducted by curator and writer Carson Chan.

We will be streaming the third talks session on a dedicated page as part of Virtual Design Festival from 8:00pm UK time.

The third session will feature talks by Facebook's vice president of product design Margaret Stewart, architect Cameron Sinclair, visual artist Amanda Williams, and landscape artist Walter Hood, as well as a conversation between curator Karen van Godtsenhoven and designer Mats Rombaut.

An exclusive screening of a new short film called The Transscalar Architecture of COVID-19 by Andrés Jaque and Ivan Munuera wl close the symposium.

Here's the schedule for the day:


VDF x The World Around Earth Day 2020 symposium schedule

1:00pm Live interview with The World Around curator Beatrice Galilee

2:00pm Live broadcast of part one of the symposium, titled Rethink

  • Cooking Sections in conversation with Maite Borjabad
  • Nelly Ben Hayoun in conversation with Sepake Angiama
  • Kunlé Adeyemi in conversation with Beatrice Galilee
  • Harriet Harriss in conversation with Timothy Morton

4:00pm Live broadcast of part two of the symposium, titled Reimagine

  • Malika Leiper in conversation with Kalyanee Mam, plus film screening
  • Aric Chen in conversation with Thomas Thwaites
  • Mariana Pestana in conversation with Studio Ossidiana
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul in conversation with Andrea Lissoni, plus film screening

6:00pm Design Earth interview by Carson Chan

7:00pm Earth Day illustrations by Mona Chalabi

8:00pm Live broadcast of part three of the symposium, titled Recreate

  • Cameron Sinclair talk
  • Amanda Williams talk
  • Karen van Godtsenhoven in conversation with Mats Rombaut
  • Margaret Stewart talk
  • Walter Hood talk

9:30pm Premiere of The Transscalar Architecture of COVID-19 short film by Andrés Jaque and Ivan Munuera

Biographies of all the speakers are available on The World Around's website.