1.5° CELSIUS was the fifth annual art and science exhibition hosted by Michigan State University’s CoLab (née Science Gallery Detroit.) The exhibition was curated to present to the public contemporary scientific artworks investigating the crisis that is climate change, and the impact of the Earth’s climate rising above 1.5° Celsius. Our lives are deeply interwoven with the environment, and this exhibition strived to alert the visitor to just how dire the consequences of human inaction on this subject can be. Flutter & Wow was tasked with designing a “green” exhibition for 1.5° – the client and exhibition subject matter indicated that Flutter & Wow lean towards a design direction in which all materials could be recycled or reused at the end of the exhibition’s run.

Flutter & Wow met this challenge by incorporating plywood walls and recycled cardboard labels into the exhibition design. Pedestals and walls were pushed to the limits in both material and style – these aspects of the exhibition were designed to appear on edge, leaning into the guest, about to topple over. This created a sense of urgency that matched the theme.

15 exhibiting artists from around the world lent their unique artistic and scientific chops to 1.5° CELSIUS. One exhibitor supplied a black pigment created out of recycled carbon waste; Flutter & Wow incorporated this pigment into paint, which we used in various ways throughout the exhibition in lieu of purchasing black paint. Another artwork incorporated pieces from other exhibits – an urchin quill and a piece of recycled plastic fiber, for instance – blown up under a microscope. This approach to the exhibit curation and design helped create visual breadcrumbs leading to other exhibits in the exhibition, but it also expressed the many ways in which designing a “green” exhibition could take shape; reusing parts of all the artworks to create something wholly new.

For another example of an exhibition showcasing art and science that Flutter & Wow has curated, click here.