Exhibition showcases complex microclimatic conditions of Danube Valley

The exhibition 360+ Weathers, installed on the Experiments Wall in the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Gund Hall, showcases the complex microclimatic conditions of the Danube Valley in Bavaria, and employs unique media: a thick felt canopy that envelops the viewer and isolates the experience of viewing the exhibition’s time-lapse video, while continuous, fluorescent ochre light produces a soft, golden glow around the experience.

“We sought to generate a viewing space that could afford warmth and retreat for inhabitation,” says assistant professor of landscape architecture Silvia Benedito (MAUD ’04), who co-curated the exhibition with Alexander Häusler (MArch II ‘04). “We’re interested in changing the perception of the hallway space through simple means, making it more comfortable, pleasing, and inviting.”

The time-lapse video was recorded between October 2012 and October 2013 in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt an der Donau, chronicling the extreme weather events that marked the year—blizzards, floods, heat waves. The video was one component of a larger design exhibition at the Museum für Konkrete Kunst in Ingolstadt in summer 2014.

“This piece was an important step for the community to relink to its river,” Benedito notes. “It helped them to sense it differently and to imagine its potentials in the future of their lifestyles.”

 360+ Weathers also alludes to the so-called Danube School, a small class of artists that, in the early 16th century, ushered in an aesthetic sensibility that privileged landscape as an autonomous subject of art. The movement suggested a new awareness of a world-in-appearance, in which weather and atmosphere became more closely linked to territorial identity and culture.