The Seaweed Ceremony

Anna van der Lei (Curator), Julia Lohmann (Curator)

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formExhibitionArt in coproductionpeer-review


The exhibition “The Seaweed Ceremony” focuses on the aquatic environment and seaweed species, which are an integral part of this fragile ecosystem. Combining existing knowledge of aquatic organisms with design research, the exhibition treats seaweed caringly and respectfully, through ritual-like gestures. In this way, students from the universities of Iceland, Finland and Estonia show works based on the local context in the “The Seaweed Ceremony”, which reflect on the symbiotic interaction of man and the environment – the post-anthropocentric symbioscene.

“The Seaweed Ceremony” focuses on the conscious design approach that seaweed as an underused but highly economically exploited bioresource, with the aim of reaching both for the development of renewable bioresources and for their industrialization.

In the last decade, seaweed has been explored as a potential resource for new materials. Seaweed is also known as “green gold”, the biofuel of the future and an alternative to animal protein on the human food plate. In order for these high expectations to be realized in the long run, we need a radical change in our way of thinking, learning from the mysterious mechanisms of the water world and the combinations of different species, moving towards a restorative, supportive and nourishing model.

Julia Lohmann, professor and multidisciplinary designer at Aalto University, writes: “Seaweed becomes more than just a resource, but also our method and muse”.

Seaweed, a large heterogeneous group of organisms capable of photosynthetic activity in seawater, are considered to be the most untapped bioresource. The DiMa Sustainable Design Laboratory of the Estonian Academy of Arts has been dealing with local seaweed as one of its focus topics since 2015. The local seaweed has been tested as a raw material for the production of various bioplastics, as a nutrient-rich food as well as as a possible wastewater-draining biomass.

Rainforests of the North

Students from universities participating in the exhibition:

Aalto University

Aura Latva-Somppi, Élise Piquemal, Elsa Tölli, Nina Naveršnik, Zoë Robertson, Vihar Kotecha

Listaháskóli Íslands

Arngrímur Guðmundsson, Birna Sísí Jóhannsdóttir, Bryndís Magnúsdóttir, Elín Dagný Kristinsdóttir, Emma Kristina A. Herrera, Helgi Jóhannsson, Jón Sölvi Walderhaug Eiríksson, Marsibil Sól Þ. Blöndal, Mekkín Guðmundsdóttir, Salóme Bregt Hollanders

Estonian Academy of Arts

Cärol Ott, Indre Spitryte, Karl-Christoph Rebane, Karolin Kärm, Katarina Kruus, Kristiina Jeromans, Marion Laev


Aalto University

Anna van der Lei, Julia Lohmann

ListahAskóli Íslands

Tinna Gunnarsdottir, Rúna Thors, Lee Lorenzo Lynch, Agnar Jón Egilsson, Johanna Seelemann

Estonian Academy of Arts

Annika Kaldoja, Kärt Ojavee

Elisabeth Perk and Roger Matthias Laas, 2nd year students of EKA Interior Architecture, designed the design of the exhibition and the complete solution of the space. The course was supervised by Kaisa Sööt and Adam Kaarma.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTallin
PublisherSepikoja Gallery
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2022
MoE publication typeF2 Partial implementation of a work of art or performance
EventThe Seaweed Ceremony - Sepikoja Gallery, Tallin, Estonia
Duration: 4 Jun 202215 Jun 2022

Field of art

  • Design


Dive into the research topics of 'The Seaweed Ceremony'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this