Iceland is a small island in the north Atlantic. Because of its geological location it is a hot spot of mass energy - through volcanic eruptions and harsh climate. It is this relationship with energy and nature that has affected the population the most. This essence is mirrored in almost all aspects of the Icelandic culture. Icelanders live with nature, not against her, this becomes apparent when one looks at how they have harnessed her for the last century putting them at the forefront of renewable energy use in the world, with 81 percent of the energy used coming from geothermal and hydro electric energy sources.
It is fair to say that in the Icelandic context, water has had a dominant effect on the culture, whether it is through geothermal water for spatial heating or running water for the production of electricity. The availability of energy from water sources accounts for the existence of Aluminum smelters in Iceland. Aluminum oxide is shipped across the globe to Iceland as its production is energy intense. With the addition of electric energy the oxide powder becomes liquid aluminum that is cast into slabs and shipped of to Europe for further processing.
Instead of only shipping it off, I want to invite this alien material aluminum to mix with the origins it was created in - circulation of water in the raw wilderness of Icelandic highlands.
I have conceptualized a bridge, consisting of a self generated system located in the middle of nowhere in Icelandic nature. A hydro turbine generates electricity from running water that powers a heat-pump mechanism. The heat pump sucks all the heat out of the aluminum structure of the bridge, which slowly forms ice.
This results in a system with a life force of its own, constantly creating and destroying itself. With the bridge, system and context in constant dialog with each other making the object/function in a state of endless ephemeral transformation, growing or shrinking depending on the outside influences; temperature, humidity and the power of the running water.
A bridge is functional but it also implies a journey, which is experienced - a metaphysical experience of reflection and meaning that overtakes practical function. It will trigger people to read into the experience and give a scope of reflection - a bridge over the water that creates the bridge.
Year: 2010 / Design Academy Eindhoven
Master of Contextual Studies