Ego to Eco, an installation by Studio EFFEKT at Biennale di Venezia


Rasmus Hjortshoij,

Biennale di Venezia,

Venice Biennale, Exhibition,

In the Corderie dell’Arsenale is an installation entitled “Ego to Eco” by Danish architectural practice EFFEKT. It takes the form of a physical representation of a natural ecoysystem populated by seven research and design projects conceived by EFFEKT over the past few years offering potential solutions to today’s challenges, including the question “How will we live together?” posed by the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at Biennale di Venezia.

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Ego to Eco, an installation by Studio EFFEKT at Biennale di Venezia
Among the many artistic installations positioned toward the end of the Corderie dell’Arsenale di Venezia is “Ego to Eco”, in the section focusing on communities. Here, Danish studio EFFEKT presents a series of far-sighted projects differing greatly in scale, type and context, underlining the fact that every architectural project has an impact on our world and therefore consequences for the question how will we live together.
The projects on display could not fail to include the iconic Forest Tower at Camp Adventure Park, a 900-metre walkway connected to an observation tower 45 metres high. In the context of the Biennale, the project seeks to answer the question whether architecture can help people reconnect with nature. More answers to this question are offered by the Nature Village project, an example of how real estate development can enable ecological restoration, and Build for Life, illustrating the possibility of living in a more sustainable, connected, healthy way.
The most striking feature of “Ego to Eco” is the circular idea inspiring the studio’s participation, in perfect harmony with EFFEKT’s major focus on the environment. In the heart of the installation is a miniature forest of 1200 tree seedlings that will continue to grow throughout the Biennale, thanks to a hydroponic cultivation system remote-controlled from Copenhagen. The system employs recirculation irrigation technology, pumping water and nutrients to the roots of the plants through an ebb and flow Growtable. Excess water is then drained off and collected in a tank underneath the structure, while pressure, humidity and temperature sensors are connected to a controller box permitting real-time monitoring and operation of the system to offer the plants optimal growing conditions. Sinus Lynge and Tue Foged, founding partners of the studio, tell us that with hindsight it would have been better to leave the whole mechanism in view, rather than covering it up and allowing visitors to see only the results of all this complicated research work; it would definitely have helped visitors realise that nothing has been left to chance here, and that living plants require a lot of care.
The one-year-old Pinus Sylvestris, Picea Abies, Pinus Sitchensisa and Larix Eurolepis trees will continue to grow over the six months of the Biennale, and when the exhibition closes they will be planted as part of the Nature Village project, an urban forestation project in Denmark which should absorb more than 1000 tonnes of CO2 over 50 years.  
Ego to Eco” is based on the idea of creating something with a lasting positive impact, an approach we all ought to apply to any temporary event held today to limit its environmental impact and create something for the future. 
In this installation, EFFEKT demonstrates that all this is possible, and that an installation can be educational, elegant and environmentally friendly, all at the same time.

Christiane Bürklein

Ego to Eco by EFFEKT
Location: Corderie dell´Arsenale, Venice, Italy
22 May - 21 November 2021
Supported by: Realdania, Kunstfonden and Dreyers Fond
Installation images: Rasmus Hjortshøj


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