Ecosystem Living

Film by Nuno Barbosa

MTF places music and creativity at the heart of innovation across all domains to address grand societal challenges. The MTF Labs theme this year was ‘Ecosystem Living’. The Labs took place in Aveiro, Portugal as part of Aveiro Tech Week.

Building on 2020’s ‘Another Green World’ and 2021’s ‘Just Ocean’, the new ‘Ecosystem Living’ theme challenged MTF Labs’ expert participants to consider how human beings can live in specific relation to their surroundings and environment.

This challenge moves beyond and away from the concept of *urban planning* because we reject ‘urban’ as a necessary (or even desirable) condition for human habitation. ‘Ecosystem Living’ transcends the idea of spatial planning, since the focus of spatial planning is limited to the physical space and not the complex interactions between cohabiting species. Nor is it ecosystem planning because we do not seek to impose order, encourage extractive practices or create the conditions for entirely anthropocentric habitation.

We consider human beings and their activities to be part of nature and not separate from it, and so true ecosystem living is about harmony, alignment and balance, and finding an entire value network within a holistic cohabitation. This balance must synthesise and integrate artistic practice, scientific research, traditional craft professions and local cultural practices.

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