we+’s study on mist explores a new coexistence between nature and design

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‘nature study: mist / waft’ by we+ 

Alarmed by how manufacturing methods and consumption are destroying ecosystems at accelerating rates, we+ has launched a series of studies that reassess the relationship between nature, the social environment, and human beings. Specifically, through its reassessment, the studio proposes a new, empathetic coexistence between design and the natural word. One of its recent studies leveraged history research and fieldwork to examine the transitions and fluctuations of one curious natural phenomenon: mist. The resulting work was translated into the ‘Nature Study: Mist’ exhibition in Tokyo earlier this year. The show extensively documented project findings and prototypes of studying mist, which led to we+’s follow-up installation, ‘Waft.’

we+ nature study mist
‘Waft’, the follow-up installation of ‘Nature Study: Mist’ by we+ | all images © Masayuki Hayashi

embracing the nostalgic and tender qualities of mist 

Explaining the concept behind the exhibition and research, the studio writes: ‘People have lived with nature since ancient times. In Japan, with its abundant nature, there are countless words for mist, including usugiri (light mist), kawagiri (river mist), yugiri (evening mist), moya (mist) and kasumi (haze). The delicacy and empathy with nature is apparent in haikus, calligraphies and paintings, as well as in seasonal events. However, in modern life, where convenience and rationality are sought, mist tends to be seen as a mere change in weather that obstructs the view, and the sense of nostalgia and tenderness for it is disappearing.’ 

we+ nature study mist
interacting with the mist to see how it reacts 

‘Nature Study: Mist’ took place at Nomena Gallery Asakusa and featured five sections: Language and Literature, Fieldwork and Experimentation, Inspiration, Prototyping, and finally the ‘Waft’ Installation. The latter recreated the behavior of mist in a pitch-black space to make it more perceptible to visitors. ‘Gazing at flickering mist in a frame, just as we do with a painting, or observing it swirling in a circular window and touching it from time to time: these experiences offer opportunities to awaken people’s innate sensitivity to nature and to reconnect with it,’ concludes we+. 

wes nature studymist proposes a new coexisting relationship for design and nature with the follow up installation waft 4

leveraging the nostalgic and tender qualities of that natural phenomenon

wes nature studymist proposes a new coexisting relationship for design and nature with the follow up installation waft 2
‘Waft’ recreates the behavior of mist within a certain space to make this part of nature more perceptible

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