dieDAS - Design Research  |  2020-2022

Doing, undoing, and doing again, in dilated and diverse timeframes, geological to biological.

Designing Metabolic Relations


The 2022 program curated  by dieDAS Artistic Director Maurizio Montalti and Head Mentor Eugenia Morpurgo, explores the transformative nature of metabolic processes.

'Metabolism is the continued flow of biochemical reactions and energy that animate living systems, allowing them to reincorporate organic matter into living webs of exchange. Inspired by the beautiful and ingenious interdependence of living systems, our program embraced a multi-species approach in which deeply entangled bodies, both visible and invisible, cohabit and support one another' (dieDAS >>).


dieDAS 2022 Fellows:

Adrian Pepe >>

Nico Alexandroff >>

Giulia Pompilj >>

Steffie de Gaetano


Visit the dieDAS 2022 Fellowship program HERE >>

Read more about in(UN)becoming HERE >>


All artifacts have been produced in collaboration with the dieDAS 2022 Fellows.


in(UN)becoming places an emphasis on the transitional moments between materials. We focused on both organic and inorganic matter, in other words, the biosphere and lithosphere landforms in which they reside.


We look to metabolism within Saaleck as a guiding principle to document the past while also looking to the future of the place. As a collective, we have gathered, catalogued and set in motion a series of objects and findings to exemplify several forms of metabolism that were found in the vicinity of Saaleck.


The exploration traces the transformation of landscape matter through the diverse timescales of natural cycles and anthropic-induced processes, mutating both organic and inorganic entities. We reduced ourselves as well as the place we inhabited to the common denominator which transversally unites earthly entities: materiality.


in(UN)becoming has been curated based on the rates of metabolism that we have observed, from plant and fungi species to soil and mineral samples. We have reduced these into essential colours through the processes of natural dying and pigmentation, additionally visualising chemical components via chromatographies. We have captured the hidden digestive mechanism of the building through mycelium imprints and crystalised found-objects to similarly explore the stratification of time. We endorsed the metabolic processes by embracing the ephemerality of the colours and the perpetually changing forms.


In light of the imminent conservation of the building, we propose the exhibition as a reminder of the transience of ideological beliefs embedded into architecture as well as its physicality. Reducing it to matter allows us to reposition the future trajectory of the building.


Matter controls us. Exercising the ability to change ourselves with it is fundamental. We see metabolism as a choreographer of life and we humans are dancers among many.


Curatorial text by dieDAS 2022 Fellows.





Graphis by Nico Alexandroff

© Steffie de Gaetano 2022