Tools for After TFA - Review

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Posted 2023-09-19 by Jenfollow

Thu 14 Sep 2023 - Sun 22 Oct 2023

Images - Writers Own

Tools for After is an extraordinary six week festival that celebrates Italian ingenuity from 14 Sep to 22 Oct 2023 that covers design, architecture, science, food, cinema and literature. Discover what the future may look like through film, visual art, design, workshops, talks and tastings across a variety of venues. I attended the unveiling and official launch of TFA, on Thursday 14 September 2023, presented by the Italian Cultural Institute, at Fitzroy Town Hall, 201 Napier Street, Fitzroy. Most objects at the exhibition were contained under glass domes and the focus was on exploring innovative solutions for a sustainable future, and to spark conversation about it. Every object at the exhibition, even the seemingly insignificant, is the result of new research into new materials, whether it be high-tech or raw materials. Each item represented a symbol of sustainability and a possible solution to the way forward.

TFA is held in three locations - Design, Architecture and Science at the Fitzroy Town Hall over the dates mentioned above; the Cinema Festival at The Capitol, 113 Swanston St, Melbourne from 1-15 October; and Literature from 16-20 Oct at Co.As.It, 189-199 Faraday St, Carlton. Melbourne is the first city in the world to host this thought-provoking festival thanks to the Ideation of Angelo Gioè - Director of Italian Cultural Institute Melbourne, who put together the program. We were given time to look through the exhibition for a little while before the speeches. The MC on the night was Donna Demaio, a freelance journalist, writer, video journalist, MC and presenter. The 1st Speaker was Hanna Pappalardo, Consul General of Italy in Melbourne; 2nd - City of Yarra Councillor Bridgid O'Brien; 3rd - Marco Fedi, CEO of Co.As.It; 4th - Daniel Palmer, Acting Dean of School of Art at RMIT University; 5th - Angelo Gioè, Director IIC Melbourne; and 6th and last - Maurizio Corrado, curator and architect of this forward-thinking festival.

Everyone addressed the importance of defending Mother Earth; global issues requiring global attention; collective effort; delivery of shared solutions and so on, with Marco mentioning we humans are also tools of change with our innovative solutions and fresh perspectives needed to solve the problems of the world and meet our future demands of food, water, and so on. At the end of the speeches, violinist Felicité entertained the masses but went quite unnoticed as the crowd was abuzz with conversation, enjoying drinks and bite-sized snacks going around, and without a microphone to amplify the instrument, one barely noticed it. This major exhibition at the beautiful Fitzroy Town Hall is one everyone should take the time to visit. Entry is free to view first-hand a display of real objects, images and videos. It gives you an insight of what design and architecture of tomorrow looks like, and what the design needs to do in the Anthropocene age.

The term Anthropocene suggests the earth is now moving out of its current geological epoch called the Holocene, and that it's human activity that's largely responsible for this exit and in the transition to the Anthropocene - named to acknowledge human influence on the state of the planet. Be sure to scour the website for all information, with options to choose the subject that interests you most. The Cinema Program kicks off on 1 Oct at 3pm at the Capitol Cinema - dedicated to Fiction. Look forward to a selection of the most interesting short films by new Italian filmmakers in collaboration with film institutes. The second day on 8 October at 4pm is dedicated to science, and the third and final day on 15 October at 3pm is dedicated to art.

One of the objects that intrigued me (of so many) was the Spider Silk Violin. A real musical instrument designed by Luca Alessandrini and produced just 4 years ago in 2019, it is one of a second series of violins made out of a silk composition material. The different layers of silk in differently woven structures imitates the structure of a traditional wooden violin but maximises the acoustic properties of the materials as never before. One of the early prototypes produced contained three spider-silk strands, 35cm in length, spun by an Australian Golden Orb Weaving Spider. I was somehow thrilled it was an Australian spider, raising the flag for us, crawling into the future. This spider silk being 5 times stronger than steel and at the same time being one of the strongest biomaterials in the world, it is extremely elastic. When the fibres are worked using their tensile strength, they increase the rigidity of a composite material with a minimal addition of weight. It has been defined as a miracle from an acoustic point of view by some luthiers.

There was also an object that clearly looked like it was derived from a pineapple - a new bio-based material from fruit peel, and designed by Francesca Nori and produced in 2022. It uses the skin of fruit rather than that of animals in a circular and plastic-free process, which is now a reality. The first success starts from the pineapple to achieve a material with a scaly surface similar to that of a reptile. I can't imagine we'd all want to be carrying pineapple skin handbags, but what an absolutely exciting start of possibilities and probabilities. There are plans to expand into the recovery of other types of vegetable peel as well. As a layperson, you have to stop and be stunned at the genius behind all this development, not just with pineapple skin, but everything that's at the exhibition.

Do make the most of the festival and take a good look at what the future might look like. Marvel at all the thought processes, creativity, time and hard work it took; and don't let the enormity of the fact that we are the first city in the world to have this exhibition pass you by. This is history in the making. Take the time to read all the explanations on the little cards filled with information, which gives the object more meaning. It's definitely interesting for the curious mind and all who care about the planet we live on. It should be comforting that there are doers out there looking out for our future, something we should all be invested in. We all need to do our little bit towards sustainability in every way that we can so that our collective actions can become a roaring thunder that leads to effective outcomes.

262694 - 2023-09-17 00:56:37


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