What if a modern society, certain of its imminent demise, decided to unite and voluntarily disappear?
‘Grasias – The Good Collapse’ is a call to mobilization, showcasing the radical civilization shift taken by the fictional state of Pyria. Confronted with multiple events foreboding a brutal collapse of systems and following a landslide outcome to a referendum, Pyria opts to proudly take itself out. Fueled by the love of its people and the general sense of urgency, the Pyrian government sets out to shift its entire economy toward a true war effort directed at itself, securing a stateless, one-of-a-kind, desperate, yet livable future for all its citizens.
To prepare Pyria for the inevitable collapse of systems, the nation’s arable land is divided into equal units, distributed to citizens as plots to ward and live off. All citizens, regardless of wealth or status, receive a declaration of collapse together with a questionnaire asking for their choices in terms of resettlement, and the collective results become the basis for the relocation plan.
This is the story of a nation preparing to overthrow itself for the greater good, but it is also the story of citizens planning ahead for their own happiness.
1. INDIVIDUAL KITS
Pyrians of all ages and trades are called to participate in the mobilization for the nation's renewal, and to that end the government of collapsing Pyria has worked on a radical solution to support its people in the challenging task of relocating to their allocated plot and building a sustainable settlement.
The final handout from the Pyrian government to its citizens, this kit provides everyone with some essentials to start exploiting their own acre of land and provide a sustainable and enjoyable future for themselves. It features:
Map of the Subdivided Nation
A map representing the neighbouring plots of land, together with the names of those they have been assigned to. It has official value as a proof of occupancy, and shows the localisation of various surplus storage units, as well as energy sources from the Pyrian Collapse Preparation Programme.
A personal operator board designed for communicating between allocated plots, each materialized by a plug on the local map. This system reuses pre-existing wire networks to build a simple and energy efficient interface, to which any old landline phone or recorder/speaker combination may be plugged.
Various bags containing activated carbon pellets for water purification, sodium hydroxide for sterilizing purposes, and a selection of yeasts and bacteria usable for food and medicine production (Levura 17 used to brew opioids, Caulobacter crescentus aka 'bacterial superglue', and the natural Microteruar ferment responsible for the renowned Pyrian flavor).
Reproducible Solid State Batteries
Simple, versatile solid-state batteries that can be recharged at any collective outlet, or by replacing the minerals that compose them.
A selection of content from Pyria’s cultural patrimony, as digitized by the National Library. It predominantly includes all 49 seasons of classic slapstick soap opera ‘Un, Du, Tre!’ in durable 2Tb SD cards.
A bottle of state-sponsored champagne using the last remaining grapes to say a big ‘Grasias’ to all citizens for their cooperation, and enter the new age in a celebratory fashion.
Personal Assistant of the Collapse
The survival assistant (‘Aidador Personal per Survive’) which provides practical tips, information about available resources, and moral support in a variety of situations, using a simple XOXO interface for inputting answers to the machine’s prompts. APSU can help identify edible plants, build furniture from discarded sleds, or resolve neighborhood conflicts all the same.
When applying for their plot of land, Pyrian citizens have the option to opt out of the program and apply instead for the status of Hero, which grants them very special privileges. Not only do they not take part in the collective effort, but the community ensures they enjoy the highest level of comfort from the old world during the mobilization. As such the Hero Kit does not contain resources for survival, featuring instead symbols of their courage and sacred duty, for all to see and respect.
The bracelet functions as an electronic ID certifying their right to 'free-everything'. As the moment for the hero's sacrifice comes to a close, it starts beeping at constantly reducing intervals, with a continuous sound signalling the turning point. It is impossible to remove, and any hero breaking their oath can be located by the increasingly loud beeping.
A marker of social status, the medal contains a neurotoxin pill to ensure an easy and pleasant passing for the nation's heroes.
2. APPS OF THE COLLAPSE
A collection of fictional digital services for preparedness
2.1 LA MUNDO OJI
While Pyria has taken a drastic step towards reconverting its social system, most countries in the world pursue business as usual. The world news allows citizens to keep up with both their nation’s efforts and the state of things abroad.
2.2 GRAN I‑XOP DE PIRIA
To Pyrians, this is the ideal platform to empty their bank accounts and purchase useful supplies for their future subsistence and comfort, while foreign companies can enjoy profiting from the collapse. Perhaps the last win-win of sorts.
The new world will require new jobs, and Pyrians are invited to plan ahead by reconverting their businesses and training the workforce with new skills. The official Pyrian Work Agency has updated its portal to accompany the shift, offering more space for self-organisation — from medical personnel teaming up with agronomists to develop super-efficient home remedies, to groups of athletes promoting themselves as mechanical power units.
The first dating website dedicated to finding like-minded citizens to relocate with. Once a match happens, both parties are put in touch so that they can meet and, if they decide to take the next step, exchange IDs so that the system may pair them in the new plot redistribution plan.
3. COLLECTIVE RESILIENCE
A series of governmental initiatives has been initiated to provide durable and
decentralized infrastructure, but also the resources to support Pyrian citizens
during the first year of the collapse.
Large industrial containers disseminated across the country provide citizens with tools and resources for a full year after the government's resignation. Designed to remain airtight, they prevent their content from degrading before they are opened at the start of the new month. Resources and tools adapted to the season may then be accessed by the local community, among which can be found food tins, water cans, vacuum-sealed clothes, salt, construction materials, biomass briquettes, seeds, or caustic soda. Items which cannot be easily produced without industrial facilities, such as lightbulbs or cigarettes, as well as artworks coming from museums which couldn't be preserved (not all historical buildings could be vacuum-sealed in time), are also stored in the containers.
Depending on the month, each storage unit may contain a variable amount of the following:
- vacuum sealed dried foods
- food tins
- clothing surplus
- biomass bricks
- water cans
- extra batteries
- seed packs
- copper wire
- flatpack construction tetraminos
- DIN format boards of steel, composite wood, and recycled plastic
- caustic soda
- basic drilling and cutting tools
Upcycled Wind Power
In order to provide as much renewable energy as locally as possible, a great mobilization for wind power has accelerated the implementation of inland turbines, closely following the acre grid in which the nation is subdivided. Pyria’s aeronautic industry has bifurcated toward the production of makeshift wind generators, and trained an elite team of ascending paragliders in charge of their maintenance, (the top dream job among children of the collapse). Some turbines even double as panoramic restaurants serving reinvented cabin meals for air travel nostalgics.
Genetically Tamed Organisms
The Pyrian wilderness is also undergoing exciting structural changes, with the introduction of new specimens bred for their relative harmlessness, like the soft-antler deer. The pride of Pyrian geneticists, the soft antler character is not only supported by a dominant gene that may spread species-wide, it also provides deers the ability to enter denser forests, making it less likely for their habitat to overlap with inhabited land. The new squeaky cushion paw design deals with the complex topic of cattle hunting in a humane way: now unable to approach grazing sheep unnoticed, wolves must focus their attention on carcasses, turning them from a feared and hunted enemy into an ally for natural forest stewardship.
To rapidly implement long-distance communication networks, a program for training traveler pigeons is currently at work. It makes use of an autonomous device guiding the messenger towards its destination through haptic feedback on each leg. Making use of GPS technology during the initial phase, the system is reinforced by a training program that will allow pigeon-managers to keep the lines open when satellite networks stop functioning.
4. CIVILIZATION BACKUP
Another topic of importance the Government of Collapsing Pyria has had to tackle is that of the country's legacy: the sustainability of its population over several generations being one thing, the preservation of its cultural and scientific patrimony is an equally crucial focus. A 'Ministry of Future Generations' has been promptly created to this end, and has proposed a radical take on the matter.
PYR — PYRIA’S ORBITAL MEMORY VAULT
The Pyrian Collapse Space Program has been tasked to preserve as much human knowledge as possible; multiple back-up units containing a majority of existing technological and historical data, as well as the nation’s entire cultural production, have been launched to low orbit. The swarm of geostationary satellites now forms the first ever artificial constellations, each representing the knowledge they hold.
Each device performs a daily scan of Pyria’s highest peak, with instructions to autonomously return to the ground if it detects a retrieval signal; the sequence of which is kept secret by a council of elders within the ministry of collapse.
Until then, the satellites display their content in a binary light pulse detectable from earth, albeit with extremely low resolution and bandwidth. Transcoders are currently being developed to read their content from the ground, with the facility of Mount Martu currently able to read the entire Pyrian constitution in under three hours.
Hand-powered Cooling Underwear
In order to counter the decrease in male fertility due to rising temperatures, Pyrian engineers have developed the espera: a piece of manually-cooling underwear, that must be worn for three months prior to a desired pregnancy in order to ensure a sustained spermatogenesis and prevent DNA alteration.
While an electric version of this device exists, the high energy costs of cooling processes has prompted medical professionals to request the development of a fully-mechanical model. Here the casing is designed to isolate the testes from any contact with the body, and the manually-operated fan increases the airflow while the pump circulates a thermal liquid to conduct excess heat from the testes outwards, effectively balancing temperatures in the scrotal region.
5. DOMESTIC COMFORT
Prodded by the impending collapse of industrial production and the implementation of strict regulations against non-resilient products, Pyrian manufactures have shifted their focus from planned obsolescence and towards the production of easily repairable, versatile goods. While some companies refused to abide by fear of making their entire profit system obsolete, others have taken two steps at once by relocating their entire production in the close vicinity of their market, by investing in passive energy techniques including ceramics or medium-density recycled polyethylene commonly known as 'solarmelt.'
MACINA LAVADOR ULTIM
Presented as 'the last washing machine you will ever need', this multifunction device doubles as a cement mixer and butter churn thanks to its modular panel design and interchangeable barrels. Comfortable and racy, Maxina Ultim sports three gears for the best spinning cycle any passive appliance can provide, but also a direction reverser, a controllable liquid outlet, and a fire pit to boil the toughest stains away.
In Collaboration With
& Exhibition Design
Marta Banach Gorina
Maria Brancós Barti
Alejandro Sánchez Menéndez
& Model Production
Matias Ferrero Barreda