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Climate Change Couture

Haute Fashion for a Hotter Planet

The Apocalypse Project at ArtScience Museum

Negotiating Cities of the Future

The Apocalypse Project

The Apocalypse Project is a speculative design research inquiry that explores our possible lifestyles as climate change continues to affect the planet. It is a creative platform that asks specific questions about our environmental futures.

This project is authored by artist Catherine Sarah Young. She began this as part of the 2013 Art Science Residency Programme in partnership with the ArtScience Museum™ at Marina Bay Sands, Tembusu College National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore-ETH Centre’s Future Cities Laboratory. She is currently in Manila as the artist-in-residence of The Mind Museum expanding the project. Do get in touch if you'd like to collaborate!
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The days are ticking, and what better way to ensure that things will go as smoothly as possible than a user test for Mission Apocalypse? I sent these three teenagers on a climate change scavenger hunt in The Mind Museum to see if there were any kinks. Thanks so much, Mireille, Isabelle, and Teddy!

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(22 March 2014, Manila)—Yesterday, I had a booth at The Mind Museum’s Media Day, where the museum celebrated their second birthday. In the second photo, you can see Maribel Garcia, curator of the museum, and Manny Blas, managing director of Bonifacio Foundation, Inc., speaking about their activities for the year, as well as the museum’s accomplishments in the past two years, including winning the 2014 Thea Award in the Museum Exhibits category by the Themed Entertainment Association. Solar News presenter Mitzi Borromeo hosted the show. (Fun fact: She and I used to go to the same boxing class and just formally met yesterday.)  

In the middle of other booths, where the museum’s Mind Movers (resident scientists and all-around awesome people) presented their own projects, I gave people a preview of the show that will open next month (NEXT MONTH! Ayayay.) I wore my Apocalypse suit, now upgraded with a Commander’s patch, and remixed some Climate Change Couture. When taking a break, I helped myself to some salted butter ice cream by Sebastian’s, and a tiramisu cup made to look like a plant by Kyle Imao of Kyle’s Lab. 

The show is getting really close and I am freaking out. Only because I care. 

Coming soon on The Apocalypse Project

Some updates from this end of the apocalypse: I am currently working on at least five more projects under this platform. Questions I am asking are: What are disappearing because of climate change? How do we adapt? How can we train ourselves to think deeper about the future of the planet?

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I am working on these while doing a self-directed art/science residency at The Mind Museum, a science museum in Manila. This location seems to be a perfect fit for me for the following reasons:

1. The Philippines is one of the top countries that are most vulnerable to climate change. Unlike Singapore, where this project began and where natural disasters are relatively rare, the Philippines often experiences extreme climate events. I think there will be a lot of opportunities for discussion and learning around this topic, and I am sure these projects will give birth to new projects. 

2. The Mind Museum is one my favorite places. I never thought Manila would have anything like this—I started knocking on their doors before they were even built. I had to be based in different countries in the past several years, so I think it’s a wonderful opportunity that I have right now. I really believe that science museums are an important bastion of knowledge and inspiration for a city. The curator and the staff have also been really amazing in terms of supporting my work and giving me constructive critique. 

3. A science museum will allow me to reach a lot of children, which I’ve always believed are a crucial part of my audience as an artist/designer. I think the most heartstopping questions and feedback I’ve had in the past have come from five year olds. 

4. This is my home city. After living in different countries for the past decade, this is an interesting homecoming of a sort. 

I hope to exhibit by late April, which isn’t too far away. At this stage, I am already excited and overworked. It’s always great to have a personal project that consumes you. Check back here for updates!

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