Mariam Hava Aslam, M:ARCH Architecture alumnus from Central Saint Martins is the first of two practitioners to be selected for the University of the Arts London (UAL) Art for the Environment residency at Guest Artists Space. The programme, set up by Professor Lucy Orta, provides UAL graduates with the exceptional opportunity to apply for short residencies at internationally renowned host institutions to explore biodiversity, environmental sustainability, social economy and human rights. Mariam will be located at G.A.S. Lagos for the majority of her time with us but will also spend a week at the G.A.S. Farm House joining the first cohort of residents there.
What is the current focus of your practice?
The focus of my practice right now is questioning how I might creatively act with the urgency needed to center the complexities and entanglements of the climate and ecological emergency. How can we use design to bring about emergent futures with others? I am currently engaged in designing urban ecological spaces and using regenerative design to seed ecological processes and ways of living in the city.
Photo by Gabriele Pauryte.
What drew you to this residency and how do you think it will inform your wider practice?
The trans-disciplinary nature of design, craft, agriculture and ecology is crucial to my work, all themes that formed part of the framework of the open call requirements. My work is grounded in the decolonisation of future urban climate action, I think being immersed in the cultural and creative setting of Lagos will be such a rich learning experience for me.
Can you give us an insight into how you hope to use the opportunity?
I hope to use the time and space the residency affords me to explore my creative practice by using different media and being inspired by the context to start projects and ideas. I wish to meet and work with local networks and be informed by existing initiatives that are working towards making the city a more ecological and equitable place.
Photographs by Chris Gabe and Sara Kelly.
Mariam Hava Aslam is an activist and spatial designer who works with community groups and organisations. Her focus is on urban climate action and designing for emergent socio-environmental futures. She is interested in the intersections between climate, ecology, design and agriculture and is currently exploring design as a tool to kickstart growing and ecological living in the city.
Mariam Hava Aslam was awarded her residency through the University of the Arts London (UAL) Art for the Environment (AER) residency programme. It provides UAL graduates with the opportunity to apply for a funded residency at one of their internationally renowned host institutions, to explore concerns that define the 21st century including biodiversity, environmental sustainability, social economy and human rights.
For more information about Mariam and her practice follow her on Instagram (@marianhaslam).
All images courtesy of the artist.