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Cultural Incubator to call Otago Museum Home

Climate Kit, a project by international artists Sara Dean and Beth Ferguson, will call the Otago Museum home for the next month. It has been produced in partnership with ZERO1 American Arts Incubator, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Wellington.

Climate Kit is a collection and exhibition of fieldwork methodology for the Anthropocene, with designers, artists, scientists, and citizens from around the world invited to submit a tool to add to it. These tools will be compiled into a series of Climate Kits exploring the changing relationship between design and climate. Together they will tell stories of working in changing environments, modes of practice, and measurements of change in the fields of climate science, urban design, product development, and everyday life.

The Otago Museum will host the ZERO1 American Arts Incubator workshop between 16–22 July – people interested in science, art and design are invited to participate. As a result of the workshop, Climate Kit will distribute four small grants to local teams for public projects incorporating urban, environmental and technological responses to climatic conditions in New Zealand.

Following the workshop, the finished projects will be included in a Museum exhibition which will open on Saturday 6 August.

Caroline Cook, Otago Museum Director, Marketing and Development is delighted that the project team has chosen Dunedin, and the Museum, as its New Zealand base, having previously run American Arts Incubator programmes in several countries around the world.

“We are pleased to be partnering with ZERO1 and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to deliver a project of this calibre and significance to the public,” says Cook.

“The workshop and exhibition are about climate change in our modern world, and what tools we have to deal with this issue. Being the New Zealand partner for this exciting enterprise means we can offer our community activities that link to our core collections in Science, Nature and Culture, and to wider global issues.  We welcome ZERO1, artists and local workshop participants to the Museum.”

Beth Ferguson, Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at The University of California Davis and Sara Dean, Assistant Professor of Graduate Design at the California College of the Arts, are equally excited to start the project’s residency in the deep south.

"The Otago Museum is such a thrilling laboratory for us and their work is a wonderful scientific lens through which to understand the local climate and culture of the Otago Peninsula and climate change issues on the South Island," says Ferguson.

"We are looking forward to learning from the Otago Museum and the larger community as we explore design practices in a time of climate vulnerability,” says Dean.

Everyone is welcome to attend the workshop and associated events, to pre-register, or for more information visit