What may look like an out-of-this-world space dome is actually a World In A Shell. A 100% self-sufficient traveling exhibition and cultural data collection unit conceived by artist Hans Kalliwoda, the structure's goal is to travel the world while stopping at remote locations near UNESCO World Heritage sites to serve as a gallery space, a database, and a library for indigenous cultures. The mobile exhibition space packs away completely into a shipping container and unfolds into a dome that generates all its own power from the wind and the sun.
Kalliwoda describes his project as polliniferous, meaning it has the ability to carry pollen — in this case, pollen is a metaphor for knowledge. World In A Shell is designed to carry knowledge around the world and ‘pollinate’ other cultures. The project launched its tour in March of 2010 at the MuseumPark in Rotterdam, and it will travel for the next 5 years to remote spots in culturally significant places to capture and store pictures, drawings, recordings, stories, self-representations, and art works about local people, their culture, and their living conditions. As the walk-in-sculpture travels around the globe, it takes with it all this information and passes it on to the next group of people.
We’re fascinated with the idea of a traveling recorder and sculpture, especially as it is designed to preserve tradition and culture, but we’re totally blown away by the off-grid capabilities that have been engineered into the mobile space. The design of World In A Shell started back in 2001 at TU Delft as a collaboration between over 50 students from various faculties. The entire exhibition space packs down into a 20′ shipping container, making it easy to ship anywhere in the world.
Upon arrival, the doors are opened and the shell is unfolded and unfurled, providing insulation and protection from the elements as well as a surface for the photovoltaic panels. The project generates electricity with two wind turbines supplemented by solar panels, and it stores available energy inside an impressive array of batteries stored in the floor of the container.
The mobile exhibition space also comes equipped with a water recycling system, data monitoring, cube modules with various purposes, and computers for data collection. World In A Shell was designed to return “technology to its humanistic role as tool, in this case for the creation of a vehicle for intercultural exchange and intellectual cross-pollination, guided by social and ethical concerns.” The next stop for World In A Shell is D’Kar which is a small San (Bushman) village near Ghanzi in the Kalahari desert of Botswana.
Images ©World In A Shell