Living with CO2

Living with CO2 brings carbon dioxide into the familiar through revisiting known objects, such as a sundial and a scale, designed to interpret the external world.

Due to human activities carbon dioxide levels are rising, causing the Earth to become warmer. New scientific discoveries provide knowledge which challenges past insights on the topic. This rapidly developing science can be seen as uncertain, which limits the understanding of the individual and therefore their ability to act. At its current measured levels, carbon dioxide has no smell, no tangibility, and no colour. However, it has an impact that can clearly be observed.

This project materialises the gap between the unseen and the tangible by using one of the byproducts of photosynthesis, wood, as a medium. Photosynthesis intake of carbon dioxide varies with the seasons, affected by the Sun's rays. By relating seasonal actions to the carbon cycle, changes become relatable and doubt can be embraced. In time, this can formulate new ways to comprehend and experience the science of carbon dioxide.

The project is based at Stave Hill Ecological Park in London.

Seasons —
  1. Autumn
  2. Winter
  3. Spring
  4. Summer

Objects — 
  1. Carbon Scale 
  2. Wood Wishes
  3. Silvered Coal 
  4. Sun Logs

Project by Rebecca Lardeur

Objects to anchor carbon dioxide into the physical world

To tell stories on the physical world, there is a common language agreed upon weight and volume.
To create futures based on similar hopes, there are rituals.
To remind thoughtful actions, one can carry a wishful jewel.
To socially celebrate time and joy, is to enjoy the hardwork done and the one to come.

1. Carbon Scale

Made from London Plane Wood found at White City, London  

Through the the weight of wood it is possible to calculate approximately the amount of carbon dioxide consumed during the wood’s growth. This scale settings are designed for green wood,  taking into account the humidity present in the piece. 
    The equation comes from Forest Code was built with the help of John Wild.
    The scale symbolises the search for common grounds.

2. Wood Wishes


Made from twigs found at Stave Hill Ecological Park and Oak log found in Herdfordshire

As winter comes, it is quite common for humans to stay indoors and spend times during the holidays with loved ones.
    The ritual consist at collecting twigs around the paths at Stave Hill Ecological part, to cut them in equal length and to paint half of it. Grouping them together with a knot, they can be hanged at the Treasure Map.
  The wood wishes, inspired by ex-votos and votives, envisions a collective wishing act, aiming to find unity.

3. Silvered Charcoal

Binchotan charcoal from Japan, silver plated, stand: London Plane and Oak

The Silvered Charcoal represents the ability to carry and learn from the past while making it precious.
    Charcoal is a form of wood traditionally used as energy. According to how the charcoal is formed it can be used to clean water, provide heat, clean the human body.
    Coal, the mineral, is formed over many years and can be considered as a result of fossil fuel cycles. Its heritage is wide and plenty.
  As spring represents new growth, so does the silver plating act of capturing carbon, reminding an everyday desire of action.

4. Sun Logs

Made from London Plane wood found at White City

The sun logs are a reminder to be celebrate and be grateful of the natural cycles and its gifts.
    The Analemma is the annual path of the Sun seen from Earth. Its extreme points coincides with solstices and equinoxes. This one was seen from the Northern Hemisphere.
    The analemma is a stamp to be used during social gatherings for the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.
    The sundial is based on the exact coordinates of Stave Hill Ecological Park and is another tool to celebrate and value each moment of the longest day of the year. It is in remembrance of the circadian rhythm which shapes our everyday.