Of Lands, Seas and the Human Factor 

Exploring ecosystems of life, preservation and multi-species coexistence



maat Mode 2020: The Wrap-up – Episode 1


Ecological narratives have increasingly innervated, if not defined, new frontiers of critical practice across disciplinary fields that attempt to rekindle human agency with a simultaneously diminishing natural world and an augmented cognitive experience of its expanse.  

In front of escalating environmental depletion and unravelling processes of unmaking – civic, economic, geopolitical – that are now ever more transparent during the months of global confinement, the urgency for reconfiguring the core tenets of natural and social contracts that condition our sense and practice of sustainable co-existence has become imperative. 

A group of projects part of maat Mode 2020 took upon themselves to unpack the complexities and conflicts that characterise today’s broken territories – urban, technological, biological, and foster remedial strategies of collective participation in their remodelling. Through performative, haptic experiences of exploration (Journeys to the In-Between, Architecture Follows Fish, Disturbing Conservation), cross-disciplinary research and performative field-work (Counter-Architecture, Living Systems Lab, Citymaat) and with a common interest in open-ended debate, they have both tested new modalities of academic and professional interaction while nurturing the establishment of novel public fora of civic exchange that help to envision new learning tools and world-making exercises through which the interdependency between ecosystems of life can be reconstituted towards more equitable and empathetic collective rituals.


Beatrice Leanza
maat Director



Video by Joana Fatela.

maat Mode 2020 was an experimental participatory public programme, presented as an open-ended exercise in interrogating the role of cultural institutions in society and prototyping the future museum.