THE EVERYDAY EPHEMERAL, a critical design installation

THE EVERYDAY EPHEMERAL is an installation that discloses the energy that flows between people and their environment. By sensing changes in the light, temperature, and people movement, it creates a material representation in the form of rust on a metal sheet.

The metal sheet slides above a wooden trunk. Every 30 seconds, a machine fastened above releases drops of a corrosive liquid that initiates the rusting process. Higher the changes registered by the sensors, greater the amount of liquid released. At the end of the day the metal sheet is replaced with a new one and hung on the wall. The display of several sheets create a tangible archive.


The installation approaches the practice of archiving through a critical design perspective. The archive represents the history of tomorrow, and therefore is indissolubly interwoven with power and authority. THE EVERYDAY EPHEMERAL, by archiving the mundane, intangible and ambiguous flow of energy, aims to provoke the viewers and to invite them to reflect upon what it is worth to archive nowadays.

Project by Ana Barbosa, Emma Rugg, Erica Coria, Laura Potenti and Marjo Tikkanen, from the Master’s Programme in Interaction Design at Malmö University,  2016.