Endemic was created in response to the need to change our hearts and minds in order to identify how we can create a healthy relationship with our land. Studying native animals, aboriginal practices and new material composites, we worked in collaboration with the Australian Museum and the Australian Design Centre.
We focused on mapping the endangered, critically endangered and extinct species in Australia and learned the effects that our isolated urban lifestyles, disconnected from nature, have had on the world around us. This resulted in a correlation to the population density map surrounding all key Australian cities where the majority of threatened species were concentrated.
The selection criteria for the species that are represented in this project were based on two factors: a taxonomic rank and the Threat Classification Scheme according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. These threats include residential & commercial development, agriculture & aquaculture, energy production & mining, climate change, pollution and human intrusions & disturbance, invasive species, among others.
Taking the philosophies explored through the Cultural Collection at the Australian Museum, Eggpicnic began creating their own combinations of natural materials, natural glues and resins. This experimentation was vital to the process in order to highlight the responsibility and role designers play in creating a sustainable future. They initially worked with information from various resources regarding pre industrial plastics and analysing the materials and processes that we used. Months of trial and error took place until high quality results were achieved. Natural materials such as beeswax, casein glue, pine resin and Arabic gum were combined with sand, corn starches and baking soda to create solid and mouldable substances. Natural colouring was also applied to these mixtures such as spices, squid ink and beetroot juice.
The result of this project highlights that our ancestors had wise answers to the problems of the future. Answers that we have inherited and it is our duty to make them our own. The past can illuminate the future from the present.