NOVUM - Eliza & Min
Post-digital digifacture

Exploring the behaviour of humans facing an extraterrestrial intelligence!

In his science-fiction novel "Solaris" (Adapted to the screen by Andrei Tarkovski in 1972 and Steven Soderbergh in 2002), Stanislas Lem uses extraterrestrial intelligence as a Novum to explore the limits of the human mind when facing an unintelligible fact. A fact lying beyond the boundaries of all existing scientific theories.

Introduced by Darko Suvin, a major science fiction theoretician, a NOVUM is a plausible new scientific or technological breakthrough used by the author to rethink the human as an individual or, more generally, to rethink the harmony of human society.

Time travel is one of the most used novums in SF cinema. The idea here is to explore the limits the human mind in a non-linear conception of time and space. By using this novum, the scenarists aim to reverse one of the deepest sources of human anxiety: the Heraclitian flow of time *.

At some point, some novums became real and tangible facts in our real world. By reaching the open space beyond the atmosphere onboard of Vostok 1 rocket on April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin ** brought to the real world one of the most fantasized novums in the history: exploring galaxies and getting closer to the stars ...

A few decades later, the satellite images gave us a new perspective of the landscape and cartography. Today, Eliza and Min, two talented Parisian architects and designers, introduce the natural landscape in our urban daily life. They reproduce in 3D natural landscapes on the beautiful objects they create.

Eliza and Min, the founders of the Parisian studio NOVUM use two novums that feed each other: Digital milling (CNC) to reproduce with an infinite accuracy the landscape on wooden surfaces and a precise representation of the landscape provided by the satellites of the NASA. Their quest can be summarized in one question : What happens when the natural landscape (the grand canyon, the moon or Mars) becomes tactile, miniaturized and palpable?

Eliza and Min invite us to a dinner with a view of the Grand Canyon around the table Canyon1 they designed. They may also get us closer than ever to the stars thanks to their wall decorations Moon 1 and Mars 1. By doing so, they push the boundaries of design in our digital era and provide a small piece of answer to the question: what could be the boundaries of the design and craftsmanship in the "post-digital" era?

Written by Samir Belasri for FlyToFlea

* Heraclitian flow of time: Heraclitus of Ephesus is a Greek philosopher (c 544 BC-541 BC) father of the theory that states that in this world everything is passing and nothing remains. He compares existence to the flow of a river, he says that nothing can enter the same river twice. The river is a metaphor for time.

** Yuri Gagarin: Youri Alexeyevich Gagarin, born March 9, 1934 and died March 27, 1968, is a Soviet astronaut. On April 12th, 1961, he was the first man to reach the open space during Soviet’s space program mission Vostok 1.

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