The City of Cockaigne 2040

Final Thesis
October 2018, Graduation Program Heterotopia Design (Master of Arts)Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen Germany

Supported by
Project SAIN – Urban Agriculture, Fraunhofer-Institute UMSICHT, Oberhausen Germany (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research)

The City of Cockaigne 2040 is a design fiction for a future city that produces enough food for all its inhabitants by diverse means of urban farming methods. The design fiction consists of designed objects that help telling a ficticious story, in which the event called Peak Phosphorus – the maximum global production rate of the finite resource phosphorus – has already taken place.

Are human excrements & organic waste becoming the new currency for food purchases? The shown elements of this design fiction are the interface between the citizens and the new nutrient recycling infrastructure. They are exemplarily designed input and output objects of an urban system that analyzes, quantifies and values waste and wastewater:

1: An interactive public toilet
2: An interactive garbage chute
3: A connection device for the new liquid fertilizer lines
4: A system for autonomous food deliveries
5: A nutrient account that shows every input and output of a user.

Nutrient circulation through the input and output objects

The design fiction The City of Cockaigne 2040 employs the means of product design and shows designed objects or props of a fictitious story.

This way it shows how research (for example contucted within the project ROOF WATER FARM) affects the design of and the interaction with our environment and our way of dealing with resources. Design fictions make the potential of research projects, as opposed to traditional means of science communication, more understandable to scientific laypeople by addressing and expanding their imagination, much like a good science fiction story. The opinions and needs generated on this basis can provide a better foundation for making socially relevant decisions.

June – August 2021
DESIGN LAB #8: MATERIAL LOOPS, Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, Berlin Germany
September 2020
ÖKORAUSCH FESTIVAL, Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln, Cologne Germany
October 2019
Berlin Design Week, GERMAN DESIGN GRADUATES, Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, Berlin Germany
Autumn 2018 – Spring 2019

DURCHBLICK, Popup Dialog-Center zur Zukunft der Arbeit, Wuppertal Germnay
September – October 2018
FOLKWANG FINALE 2018, Campus Welterbe Zollverein, Essen Germany

Awards & Honorings
November 2019
Nachwuchspreis Mehrwert NRW, Category ‘Vision’, Effizienz-Agentur NRW, NRW.BANK, Cologne Germany

April 2019
World Changing Ideas, Fast Company & Inc.

September 2019
Searching for Heterotopia: Andere Räume Gestalten, In: IV. Heterotopische Zukunft, adocs Verlag, Hamburg Germany