Design Academy Eindhoven announces the fourth episode of its GEO—DESIGN exhibiton platform: a digital exhibition on the complex dynamics of COVID-19.

The world is currently bearing witness to a virus with unique conditions of contagion that created a pandemic of unexpected scale, ubiquity, and duration. The fragilities of global supply chains were suddenly exposed at their breaking points; the relationships of bodies and spaces drastically changed; perspectives on working arrangements have evolved as digital control systems have become more visible.

GEO—DESIGN: COVID-19. Travelling without moving: a digital journey through the complex manifestations of a global pandemic in the context of late-capitalist society — a chain of original readings that open up an unexpectedly immediate reality marked by acceleration, deceleration and creativity.

To see the online exhibition, please use a desktop computer.

Why Are the Shelves Empty? by Tamara Orjola & The Anderen


Followed by economic uncertainties, the global health crisis caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has intensified an ongoing shortage in food supply – revealing the underlying risks, fragilities and inequalities of the global food system by pushing it to a breaking point. Food packaging is a significant component of the global food supply chain. Without packaging, the food industry collapses.

Why are the Shelves Empty? is a research-based exploration that translates the supply chain into an interactive archive map, exploring the causes of supermarkets’ empty shelves, unveiling the complex, interdependent and fragile supply chain of Modified Atmospheric Packaging (MAP), the most popular packaging method for fresh foods. MAP prolongs the shelf life of fresh produce using CO2 as a key component which is known for its bacteriostatic and fungistatic properties. Caused by the ongoing supply chain disruption and oil crush, shortages of CO2 have destructive effects on industries dependent on this key component.

Research & Concept: Tamara Orjola
Design & Development: The Anderen

Next Project: Distanced Bodies
Next Project: PEPP¥
Why Are the Shelves Empty? Distanced Bodies

The pandemic of COVID-19 has put a spotlight on mobility infrastructures. Physical distancing, travel limitations and reduced flows of goods have highlighted and challenged scales of physical movements. The pandemic has not only enforced decelleration, as opposed to common notions of velocity, growth and progress, but has introduced the notion of safety into various aspects of infrastructures and everyday life, ranging from movements of bodies and goods to environmental spheres, from the front lines of the production process to cultural rituals such as funerals and memorials.

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Why Are the Shelves Empty? PEPP¥

The spread of COVID-19 has introduced a geography of unsettledness developing in parallel with the global appearance of the virus. Traditional media as well as social media became platforms for the reproduction of signs of crises. The uncertainty for the future of national economies, legal and illegal businesses as well as independent and contracted jobs entered public and private discourses, and highlighted that at the end of any complex system of supply chains are indeed our homes. As viral media identities of the pandemic had uncontrolled real time effects they moved into political narratives and affected consumption behaviours.

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