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The Quiet Enchanting is an invitation to find hope and agency in the face of ecological disaster and reimagine our relationship with ourselves, with each other and with the earth.
As you walk along the Strand, The Quiet Enchanting places you in a speculative world where the surrounding city has been rewilded. The series of digital screens and printed artworks on the external façade of Bush House South West Wing imagine a mythic time of ecological abundance, where we live in harmony with the natural world.
The installation is presented by design studio Superflux in collaboration with King’s Culture, the university’s knowledge exchange institute for cultural and creative collaborations.
Superflux creates worlds, stories and tools that provoke and inspire engagement with the precarity of our rapidly changing world. Founded by Anab Jain and Jon Ardern, the studio gained critical acclaim for producing work that navigates the entangled wilderness of our technological, political and cultural landscape. Continually exploring the hinterlands of this new normal and surveying the complex forms emerging on the horizon of our near future.
Clients and exhibitors include Google, IKEA, and UNDP, La Biennale di Venezia, and MoMA NY. For its contribution to speculative and futures design with a committed social mission for over a decade, Superflux received the Design Studio of the Year Award in 2021.
Imagining Climate-Positive Futures
Through the King’s Climate and Sustainability strategy, King’s is committed to accelerating climate research, education and action, with the aim of influencing climate adaptation and enabling just and fair transitions to net zero.
During a residency at King’s, Superflux drew insights and connections from a wealth of climate knowledge across disciplines at the university, as well as from external policymakers and partners, to explore and imagine hopeful futures.
“At King’s, we are committed to embedding climate and sustainability into everything we do", said Professor Frans Berkhout, Professor of Environment, Society and Climate at King’s. "We want to contribute to understanding of the climate and nature crisis; we want to empower our students to take action and we have a commitment to achieve net zero as an organisation. At its heart, this is a cultural transformation, and the arts, including public-facing works such as 'The Quiet Enchanting', will play a fundamental role in helping us imagine what is possible, and bring meaning to the changes we are going through to achieve sustainability.”
The ideas showcased below, surfaced through the process of the in-depth, deep-listening inquiry, represents just some of the world-leading climate researchers working to meet the challenge we face at this critical time for our planet.
Professor Daanish Mustafa studies topics including water resources geography, environmental hazards, development and critical geographies of violence and terror. His most recent projects have been concerned with gender performativity and violence in Pakistan, cultural politics of urban horticulture in Pakistan, and hydro-social territorialisation in Jordan.
Dr Duraid Jalili’s research includes understanding sector responses to environmental insecurity. He is founder and co-Director of the Environmental Security Research Group (ESRG) at King’s College London, and is actively involved in security sector environmental and educational reform activities. This includes serving as a regular contributor to policy development and educational outreach, with organisations such as the UK Ministry of Defence, Cabinet Office, Home Office and FCDO, as well as NATO and the EU Parliament.
Emily Kasriel is an experienced media executive, with a particular interest in Deep Listening - a transformative practice without agenda, that moves beyond a hotly contested and divisive topic to reach a point of shared humanity and reciprocity whilst accommodating difference. She is researching the field in her role at the Policy Institute.
Professor Frans Berkhout's expertise centres around science, technology, policy and sustainability, with a focus on climate change. In 2023, he was appointed Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability) and leads the university’s strategy to accelerate transformative multidisciplinary research and embed sustainability more deeply into King’s teaching, impact, partnerships and operations.
Dr George Adamson's research focuses on the complex relationships between climate and society. Since 2016, he has convened King's Climate Research Hub, a multidisciplinary research cluster with a particular interest in cultural perspectives on climate and people.
Dr Kris de Meyer specialises in how people become entrenched in their beliefs, how this leads to polarisation in society, and how to overcome this. Kris works with environmental scientists, policymakers and conservation NGOs to support them in communicating more constructively about controversial environmental topics, such as climate change.
Professor Mark Mulligan’s research interests include applying high-tech field monitoring based on his open-source designs and distributed process-based computer modelling. He is committed to science in the service of society and is thus focused, collaboratively with industrial partners, on making his research results available to industrial and policy-oriented users through tools and data distribution systems.
Dr Maud Borie’s work is located at the intersection of Human Geography and Science and Technology Studies (STS). At the core of Maud’s interrogations is a concern over the ways in which knowledge, and whose knowledge, gets mobilised (or not), and with what socio-political implications. This field of study that art based approaches have the potential for drawing together more diverse voices and perspectives.
Professor Megan Bowman is an expert in financial and corporate law and regulation in the context of climate change and planetary sustainability. Her current work, funded by a Leverhulme Fellowship, investigates legal and regulatory options to mainstream sustainable finance and mitigate climate risk.
Suzanne Hall is a highly skilled qualitative researcher with 20 years of public policy research experience. As Director of Engagement at the Policy Institute, Suzanne is responsible for embedding qualitative and deliberative methods in the work of the Policy Institute, and developing new, innovative approaches to involving citizens in policy making, ensuring the work it does continues to have impact.
The Quiet Enchanting is an artwork by Superflux
Creative Direction: Anab Jain and Jon Ardern
Design and Research Team: Camille Dunlop, Isabelle Bucklow, Matt Edgson, Tom Hunter, Arko Bhowmik, Ed Lewis, Thomas McLucas, Stelios Ypsilantis and Cream Projects.
The Quiet Enchanting is an ongoing exploration from CASCADE INQUIRY, a climate futures research initiative by Superflux, commissioned and supported by King's Culture.
Production and installation by SLS Media.
AV supplied by GVAV.
Press and PR support from Rees & Co.
With support from King’s Estates & Facilities team, and Westminster City Council.
Thanks to Westminster City Council Events and Planning teams.
CASCADE INQUIRY collaborating researchers from across King’s included;
Helen Adams, Senior Lecturer in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
George Adamson, Reader in Climate and Society
Frans Berkhout, Professor of Environment, Society and Climate
Maud Borie, Lecturer in Environment, Science & Society
Megan Bowman, Professor of Climate Law and Director of the Centre for Climate Law & Governance
Kris De Meyer, Research Fellow in Neuroscience in the Department of Neuroimaging and Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Geography
Adriana Ford, Centre Manager for the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society
Rowan Gard, Lecturer in Human Geography and Sustainability (Education)
Suzanne Hall, Director of Environment, King’s Policy Institute
Duraid Jalili, Lecturer in Defence Studies
Emily Kasriel, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, King’s Policy Institute
Mark Mulligan, Professor of Physical & Environmental Geography
Daanish Mustafa, Professor in Critical Geography
In addition, collaborators from the King’s student body and beyond King’s contributed to the investigation, including representatives from Brunel University, the Greater London Authority, Somerset House, Northbank BID, UK’s Policy Lab, University College London, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), University of Cambridge, University of Oslo and Westminster City Council.
The Quiet Enchanting is on display on the external façade of Bush House South West Wing, King’s College London, The Strand, WC2B 4RD.
18 October – Spring 2024
6am - Midnight Daily
A free-to-visit, outdoor display
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To help us understand the impact of The Quiet Enchanting and inform King’s College London’s work to engage public audiences around climate and sustainability research, we invite you to fill out this survey.