Office of Experiments with Monsoon Assemblages at Venice Biennale of Architecture 2021

Office of Experiments have worked with Monsoon Assemblages on an architectural installation titled ‘Between the Dragon Fly and the Barometer’, which examines the Indian Ocean monsoon from the perspective of the Globe Skimmer dragonfly and the impact of climate change on it.

The immersive installation, which will be based on climate data, field work, and time-based media, is framed by the monsoon. It conveys how climate change and the Anthropocene, a proposed geological era, are causing an increase in monsoonal unpredictability. Monsoon rain periods are shortening, and extreme weather events are increasing in the Indo-Pacific region, impacting both human and nonhuman life. 

Talking about the installation, Dr Lindsay Bremner said: “In responding to the question posed by the curator of the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, Hashim Sarkis, ‘How will we live together?’, Monsoon Assemblages teamed up with Neal White’s Office of Experiments to design an installation framed by the monsoon and the flight of the Globe Skimmer dragonfly. By drawing connections between geology, meteorology, monsoonal cities and nonhuman lifeways, our installation highlights the mutual entanglement of human and nonhumans in changing climates.”

Monsoon Assemblages is a five-year multi-disciplinary enquiry funded by the European Research Council (ERC), hosted by the University of Westminster. It is studying the relations between changing monsoon climates and rapid urban growth in Chennai, Dhaka, and Yangon, three of the largest cities in South Asia. The research project was proposed by Dr Lindsay Bremner to the 2015 European Research Council (ERC) who awarded her with a Starting Grant of  €1.5m. 

Office of Experiments, led by Neal White is working closely with Bill Thompson and Erik Kearney

The exhibition is planned to open in May 2021 but will be subject to the constraints of local and International restrictions as a result of COVID. In the meantime, the human and the dragonfly continue to adapt to the new conditions, if at different scales.