PPEH is Now Accepting Applications For The 2022 Ecotopian Toolkit: Ecotopian Tools for Delaware Watershed Justice!

January 21, 2022

Mia D'Avanza

Flooded highway in Philadelphia, a toy robot, and dark water
Image credits: Paul Saint-Amour; Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

PPEH is excited to announce that our 2022 Call for Ecotopian Toolmakers is now live!

In cooperation with the Independence Seaport Museum, the Penn Program for Environmental Humanities invites you to participate in a project to create Ecotopian Tools for water justice in the Delaware River watershed. Successful proposals for Ecotopian Tools will be explored in designer-led public workshops at the Museum, feature in an evolving year-long exhibit (now open at ISM!), and forthcoming catalog.

Proposals will introduce “ecotopian” tools, whether conceptual or realized, that might be used by inhabitants of the watershed to support its diverse, multi-species community as we learn to adapt and respond to our changing local environment: sinking, submerging, immersing, diving, soaking in climate-changing waters. Inspired by utopian writing and projects across cultures, traditions, and times, the word "ecotopian" is borrowed from Ernest Callenbach's 1975 novel, Ecotopia. An Ecotopian Tool for Water Justice should spark awareness to apprehend and address the multiplying effects of climate change on the basin’s diverse communities. Previous Ecotopian Tools have included guided tours, workshops, community-built floating sculptures, community science initiatives, data visualizations, and more. Successful proposals will be selected by a jury of eight interdisciplinary and community experts

Each Toolmaker will be awarded micro-grants of $1000 to allow for the proposed Ecotopian Tool to be explored, prototyped, and possibly built, distributed, and used in the watershed and on the River. Throughout late spring and early summer 2022, Toolmakers will work with the ISM and PPEH to lead a series of participatory public workshops featuring their Tool and its applications. Research proposals and outcomes will feature in the Museum's community gallery; a fall 2022 workshop at the University of Pennsylvania will result in the creation of a print Catalog for Ecotopian Tools and a companion digital exhibit.

Proposals are due by midnight on March 1.

Read the call, apply, and share widely!

institutional logos for ISM, PPEH, and Penn