Circulation – revolutions in the near future

by CHEN Hsin-Chu

Imagine for a moment, the impact created by the actions of billions of people on earth each day…

Fifty years ago, when astronauts on the lunar mission gazed back at planet Earth, they were moved to exclaim by the beautiful sight of the blue dot in the darkness of the universe. What sight would they behold if they gazed back at the surface of the Earth today?

Since the advent of the industrial revolutionization, the modes of high-efficiency production have not only brought massive quantities of manufacturing, but have also established a consumption-oriented economic model. Products are rapidly consumed and eliminated, linear thinking and linear production have led to an imbalance in the global environment. While human beings live comfortably in their surroundings, the environment has become an enormous reservoir of wastes. At the end of the 20th century, human beings became conscious of the importance of coexisting with the environment and sustainable development. The circulation economy initiative was the next step.

“The earth has become a single spaceship, without unlimited reservoirs of everything, neither for extraction nor for pollution, and in which, therefore, man must find his place in a circular ecological system which is capable of continuous reproduction of material form.” British economist Kenneth Ewart Boulding’s theory opened up the discussions related to the circular economy. The core concept of the circular economy is that there are no waste products but misplaced resources. The continuous recycling and utilization of materials is promoted catalyzed through the perspective of “material flow,” stimulating “from cradle to cradle” design contemplations to establish a circular system for the restoration and reproduction of resources, with the goal of producing a minimum amount of wastes, perhaps even zero waste, to finally resolve the paradox between economic development and environmental impact.

The revolution of the near-future has already begun. Human beings are the key to all functions.

The curatorial method for “Circulation” places a relative emphasis on the cyclical vantage gradually taking shape between villages and towns: cooperative relationships and networks in the process of connecting, new roles for the manufacturers, and the participation and practice of the end user. We have chosen areas including the cooperative cycle of the subsistence farmer, biomass research and development in the textile industry, and applications for recycled plastics, and see the various points of entry and modes of practices in industry players, groups, and communities scattered in all corners of Taiwan, leading the charge in societal innovation and change and enabling our cities to make gradual strides toward the cycle. These large or small urban laboratories and changemakers deserve our concern because they embody these qualities and values:

・Respect the value of physical matter and seeing these as precious materials
・Transform the design and production processes to enable all materials to remain in the recycling loop
・Creation of interdisciplinary professional collaboration and cooperative networks
・Emphasis on user’s daily practice and selection
・Recycle and rebuild

Simultaneous to this exhibition, we will attempt an on-site experimental construction project using the circulation concept at the C-LAB, and invite the Berlin-based interdisciplinary team, raumlaborberlin, to respond to this theme through the creative method of regional research. New societal changes are in the near future. “Circulation” hopes to present a vital innovative energy; these efforts and narratives are in the midst of establishing a new method for production and living.



Architecture Lab

Food and Agriculture Lab

Textile Lab

Plastic Lab

Ferment the City


Wei-Wei WAN_Sophie
CHIANG_Sean LIN_WANG Wei-Zhi_Christopher ADAMS_Amie KO

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Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab

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