ASN Programme Director, Donald Urquhart, visits Brazil

ASN Programme Director, Donald Urquhart has recently returned from a visit to São Paulo in Brazil.


He was a speaker at the Congress XI, Aesthetics & Art History at the

Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, where his paper discussed the role of ASN in ecological art practice.

Earlier this year, Dr Evandro Carlos Nicolau from São Paulo was an academic visitor to Art, Space + Nature.

GRIKE: Sculpture as Resistance in the Anthropocene Luis Guzmán and Diego Estrada.

Natural Signs is a Chilean art studio, comprising ASN student Luis Guzmán and Diego Estrada, which is dedicated to exploring the intersection of art and ecology, with an emphasis in bio-architecture. insta4

They have recently presented works in Tent, which were developed from Natural Sign’s residency at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland, undertaken last summer.

The residency involved field research as an investigation into the geological, social and biological characteristics of the place.

As well as the works developed for Tent, they installed a permanent work, ‘GRIKE’ in the Burren landscape. The work is made from polycaprolactone (polymorphic biodegradable polymer) and is designed to enhance the ecosystem by replacing soil lost during five thousand years of human intervention. 


The residency experience, including the research process and the work on site, was presented in a documentary film, which has now been distributed to two hundred schools in Chile, as a way to foster the dialogue between art and natural sciences in the art education curriculum.

Interviews with Dr. Eamon Doyle, geologist of Burren Geoparks and Nuala Mulqueeney, Director of Ailwee cave, were also presented in video format in the exhibition. 


The sculpture, ‘GENERATIVE’, was developed for the exhibition in relation to the site-specific work, ‘GRIKE’.  This piece consisted in an enclosed polycaprolactone structure which supported the growth of plants and fungi, as a way of incorporating living systems in sculptural proceses.

ASN Fieldtrip to Lewis & Harris


claire5The ASN students have just returned from one of our annual field trips.
We visited the islands of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides, where the students looked at numerous aspects of the islands’ physical and cultural landscape.

Initial ideas will be tested in a forthcoming exhibition in Tent gallery, before a more substantial exhibition in An Lanntair Gallery in Stornoway next year.





Newton Harrison visits ASN Studio

“The Deep Wealth of This Nation, Scotland” is an exhibition by the environmental art pioneers, the Harrisons currently on display at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA). The show is a collaboration between the Center for the Study of the Force Majeure (CFM) in California and the Barn in Aberdeenshire, along with the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen. It is presented at ECA in association with Art, Space + Nature Masters Programme (ASN).

Following a public presentation and discussion to accompany the ECA exhibition on Thursday evening, we were honoured to have Newton Harrison visit the ASN studio on Friday. We were treated to a two-hour discussion and career overview from the internationally renowned artist and pioneer of the global ecological art movement. The collaborative team of Newton and his late wife Helen Mayer Harrison (often referred to simply as “the Harrisons”) has worked for almost forty years with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists to initiate collaborative dialogues to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development.


“The Deep Wealth of This Nation, Scotland” is an original vision to see how one small country can mobilise as a nation to be the first industrialised country to move past the carbon cycle and become the first nation to give more to the global environment, which the Harrisons call the Life Web, than it consumes.  This vision which takes form as a poem, transcends political and social boundaries and encourages the possibility of collective action at all levels in society.

For more details visit

ASN success in the 2018 Biennale, Land Art Generator Initiative

A team of students from Art Space + Nature have been shortlisted, down to the last twenty-five, in an international competition which attracts hundreds of proposals.

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is an international, biennale design competition that brings together artists, designers, architects and engineers alike in order to design large scale public artworks capable of generating renewable energy.  With a new international site selected every two years, the goal of the initiative is “… to accelerate the transition to post-carbon economies by providing models of renewable energy infrastructure that add value to public space, inspire, and educate—while providing equitable power to thousands of homes around the world.”

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This year, eight Art, Space and Nature students collaborated on ‘GLASS  BOULDERS’,  an immersive series of sculptures formed of transparent glass solar panels for the St.Kilda triangle in Melbourne, Australia. The proposed design not only seamlessly embedded itself into to landscape and provided unique experiences for individuals in the space, but was also able to optimise the efficiency of the technology implemented through the utilisation of a parametric design, layering the glass solar panels as to maximise the amount of infrared light they could capture. Additionally, the modular design allowed for future expansion of the work based on current energy demand, with the initial amount of energy production being 690MWh.

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So congratulations to the ASN team:

Andrew Ioannou, Audrey Yeo, Becky Sutton, Cody Lukas Anderson, Di Jiao, Luis Guzman Martinez, Mungki Jati, Natalia Bezerra

‘GLASS BOULDERS’ will now take part in a touring exhibition around Australia, as well as being included in ENERGY OVERLAYS, the LAGI 2018 publication,  which will be launched on the 11th of October in Melbourne.

More information about LAGI at:

ASN student exhibits at The Lighthouse – Scotland’s Centre for Architecture and Design

ASN student, Cody Lukas Anderson, is currently exhibiting at the Lighthouse in Glasgow as part of an interdisciplinary collective from the University of Edinburgh. The other members of the Collective are Qingqing Zhang (MSc in Advanced Sustainable Design) and Sam Christopher Cornwell (MSc in Material Practice).

The exhibition, entitled ‘JUSTIFIED’, had its origins in a design project undertaken as part of the Material Technology elective, run by Professor Remo Pedreschi and Cristina Nan. The project was selected for funding by both the University and the Lighthouse for further development for the current exhibition.

The group explored digital fabrication applied to the structural properties of wood, using laser cutting and CNC-milling to create live-hinging. This resulted in a flexible module which has the capability of transforming into complex three-dimensional structures.


41166786_10156469520725446_1248541701547491328_nThe exhibition runs until the 28th of October, with workshops and Artist Talks being held on the 22nd of September and 6th and 27th of October.

ASN Student participates in Museum of Modern Art, New York, presentation and at the 2018 London Design Fair.

MFA Art, Space + Nature student, Luis Guzmán, is a member of the cross institutional, collaborative team, ‘MYCTERIALS’, which participated in the Biodesign Challenge, 2018 at MOMA, NY.

The Biodesign Challenge looks to celebrate the hybridation between biotechnology and design, fomenting creativity and challenging visions of the future.

“Our goals is to explore the possible uses of magnetic properties in creating mycelium based biomaterials.  

We plan to use embedded metal particles to direct mycelium growth. The magnetic pull on the particles would make mycelium grow according to magnetic fields. If planned carefully, mycelium can be grown into desired shapes.”

The Mycterials project is a result of the Biodesign course run by Dr. Larissa Pschetz (ECA) and Dr. Naomi Nakayama ( School of Biological Sciences), the team is also an interdisciplinary assemble from different schools within the University of Edinburgh. 

Laura Turpeinen, Fernanda Bolaños and Ivan Shrupov, from The School of Biological Sciences, and Luis Guzmán from ASN, Edinburgh College of Art. 

ASN partners, the Art + Science lab, ASCUS, and the mycologist Dr. Patrick Hickey also contributed to the project through intellectual and technical collaboration 

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The experience in New York was an opportunity to display the University’s interdisciplinary initiative in a edge-cutting environment  and to create important networks. Whilst in New York, Luis visited several academic institutions, including the Bioart Lab of the New York School of Visual Arts  and initiatives, like Terreform ONE a bio-inspired design hub based in New Lab, Brooklyn.

The Mycterials project has been invited to the 2018 London Design Fair in September 2018 were the university team will present the project amongst  550 exhibitors from 36 countries, including independent designers, established brands and international country pavillions._DSC1932IMG_8264IMG_82651