The Abundance and Scarcity of Sand
— symposium Atelier NL
“Remove from our lives everything that depends on sand and our world would look very different. We would have no glass, no computer chips, we would have no buildings. We’re just not aware of how important sand is to our daily lives.” - Michael Welland
Every year, we remove billions and billions of tons of sand from beaches, rivers, and oceans and lock it away in our infrastructure, commodities, and technologies. This has resulted in global sand scarcity. 'The Abundance and Scarcity of Sand' is a symposium focused on the critical discussion of sand as one of the most quickly disappearing natural resources in the world. Hosted by Atelier NL and MU, this symposium is a place for artists, designers, scientists, environmentalists, and the local community to participate in lectures and in-depth conversation regarding the environmental challenges and potential solutions surrounding sand.
We want to dedicate this symposium to the memory and passion of Michael Welland, British geologist and author of the award-winning book ‘Sand’, who had a profound poetic understanding of life and the natural world. He was the man who inspired and guided us to set up this symposium. He would have loved to be here with us in person, but will never leave us in spirit and neither will his words.
Keynote speaker Denis Delestrac, award-winning filmmaker, and director of 'Sand Wars' (2013), will kick off the conversation. The lecture that Michael Welland prepared for the evening will then be read in his honor. Finally, curator, artist, and community developer Jacqueline Heerema of Satellietgroep will share her perspective.
The event will culminate with an interactive panel discussion in which the public is welcome to participate. The panel will consist of Denis Delestrac, Jacqueline Heerema (Satellietgroep), Winy Maas (MVRDV), Lonny van Ryswyck (Atelier NL), Mindert de Vries (Deltares/Waddenacademie), Winy Maas (MVRDV), and Marcus Fairs (Deezen). As editor-in-chief of Dezeen and as a 2017 DDW ambassador, Marcus Fairs is the leader of the 'Good Design for a Bad World' initiative, which celebrates designers who are addressing major global challenges. Sand scarcity is a serious problem with potentially far-reaching consequences not only for our planet and its ecology but for our economy and society.
Join us for this intensive symposium that brings together scientists, designers, and the public to discuss this ubiquitous everyday material that impacts our lives at every scale. Angelique Spaninks (director of MU) will host the evening, starting the dialogue with everybody involved.