- « By connecting the ‘what is’ with the ‘what if’, Atelier Luma is discovering new kinds of value among the social and ecological assets of the Camargue bioregion. »John Thackara, writer, public speaker and design producer
Henriette Waal is co-initiator and artistic research director of Atelier Luma, an experimental design laboratory run by the Luma Foundation in Arles in southern France. Atelier Luma creates new and sustainable ways of using the natural and cultural sources of the surrounding wetland region: from recycling agricultural waste to reinventing local techniques, as well as facilitating encounters between daring designers. Atelier Luma develops local solutions for global problems. At the heart of the approach is the implementation of circular economic practices and the far-reaching involvement of nature and the community. Design become the means of transition.
In her role as artistic research director, Henriette links the local context to international design expertise. She maps local material flows, knowledge and customs and researches socio-ecological issues at a superlocal level. To this end, she selected a core team and set up collaborative structures that involve scientists, farmers, craftsmen, entrepreneurs and designers.
In addition, Henriette acted as artistic leader of installations at several international design exhibitions, among them the Luma Days (2017/2018), Istanbul Biennial (2018) and XXI Milan Triennial (2019). Henriette is currently overseeing fieldwork research in the Mediterranean region. Her research is contributing to new transnational ways to organize and make design by integrating remote southern European, African and Middle Eastern wetland communities.
Realized projects include [Algae Platform], [Majouba Arles], [Living with Rising Water / Arles], [Hippomedia / Arles], [The Uprooted / Arles], [Color Geographies / Arles], [Biolaminates], [May Your Rice Never Burn / Arles] [Collection Zero San Vero Milis / Sardinia]