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A selection of images and films from Luca Locatelli's ongoing research documenting plausible solutions to front the climate crisis of the 21st century. 

Portfolio - Artworks  Studio Feed  FilmPublications

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Future Studies is an ongoing research made of a series of photos, immersive videos and datas derived from a thorough analysis of sociocultural aspects as well as of economic viability and sustainability. It is a long journey started in 2011 and aimed at documenting the struggle on exploring new ways to live on our planet on confronting today’s critical environmental issues.

  • PDF Portfolio studio@lucalocatelli.com
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One of the most characteristic symptoms of the time in which we live is the growing sense of loss of a better future, of a hypothetical tomorrow perceived as something promising and yet unknown. For a long time, technological progress has represented the foundation upon which utopian visions of the future were built, yet allowed us to have access to an extraordinary number of products and to a comfort unimaginable to previous generations. Today, however, as never before, we are also becoming conscious of its dark side, of the damage it caused in the past as well as the risks implied in living in a highly technological world. Growing political and economic instability, together with an ever more tangible ecological crisis and the virus outbreak experience we are living all over the world, are trapping us in an eternal present made of anxiety and pessimism. In such a scenario and knee-deep in an era in which man’s activities have an increasingly direct impact on the precarious balance of the Earth, a main role is played by our attitude on restoring a balance between science and technology related to our environment. Future Studies is a 7 years and ongoing journey aimed at exploring new ways to live on our planet on confronting today’s critical environmental issues. My aim through this project is to present the viewer with a debate regarding our concept of growth and our relationship with nature and technology. The themes I intend to touch are related to ‘the making of the future’ to hopefully contributing to open a debate about today and tomorrow. Never as in this difficult time of the Covid-19 that stops the world, we had an occasion to reflect what our attitude should be in the future, in the effort of re-establishing a healthy relationship with nature and the planet.


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OCEAN SOLUTIONS

One of the most characteristic symptoms of the time in which we live is the growing sense of loss of a better future, of a hypothetical tomorrow perceived as something promising and yet unknown. For a long time, technological progress has represented the foundation upon which utopian visions of the future were built, yet allowed us to have access to an extraordinary number of products and to a comfort unimaginable to previous generations. Never as before we have an occasion to reflect what our attitude should be in the future, in the effort of re-establishing a healthy relationship with the planet. In the 21st century we surely need to learn how to use our knowledge in a more sustainable way while learning new ways to live on our planet on confronting today’s critical environmental issues. Future Studies is an ongoing research aimed at triggering the viewer on a critical debate on our precarious balance on Earth and hopefully contribute to restore hope for the future of mankind. 
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An ongoing research for more than 10 years aimed at exploring new ways to live on our planet and hopefully contribute to restore hope for the future of mankind.
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A project about Sustainable Ocean Economy - The Ocean Panel

https://www.oceanpanel.org
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Billions of people have personal connections to the ocean. For many people living in coastal communities, the ocean is not only a source of food and livelihoods, it is an intrinsic part of their culture and heritage.  For the 40 percent of the world’s population that live within 150 kilometres of the coast and the hundreds of millions of others who visit it, the ocean is central to their lives. The ocean plays an essential and usually unrecognised role in the daily lives of all of the planet’s inhabitants. Indeed, breathing itself would be impossible without the ocean, which produces half of the earth’s oxygen.
The ocean is also an enormous economic asset. Around 90 percent of the world’s goods are traded across the ocean. Hundreds of millions of people work in fishing and mariculture, shipping and ports, tourism, offshore energy, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics—all of which rely on ocean resources. By some estimates, the ocean economy directly contributes more than $1.5 trillion a year to the global economy. 

A new way of thinking has immense potential to open the door to a sustainable ocean economy. This approach abandons the false choice between economic development and environmental protection.

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We know the ocean and its value. Even so, the ocean keeps providing us with new insights. We learn that the ocean is even more important than we thought: for human and planetary health, for climate and food security, for local jobs and the global economy. We learn that ocean health is more at risk than we thought, because different pressures add up and contribute to rapid and unpredictable changes in ocean ecosystems. But importantly, we also learn that the ocean holds many of the urgent solutions humanity and the planet need. More fish and seafood production can provide abundant climate- friendly proteins for a growing population. Offshore clean energy can power the world many times over. Mangroves and seaweed can provide food, fuel and fibre while mitigating climate change and boosting biodiversity. Genetic resources in the ocean can advance health and fight disease. Here’s the lesson: We can and we must produce more from the ocean, and we have to do it in ways that mitigate climate change, preserve biodiversity, regenerate ocean health and leave no one behind. We can produce more, by protecting more. We must approach ocean management in an integrated manner in order to achieve the vision of protection, production and prosperity. We need a comprehensive approach to sustainably manage 100 percent of the ocean.

- Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and co-chair of the Ocean Panel

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Modern Farmer's house, Westland, the Netherlands
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Burj Khalifa observation deck, Dubai
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Amusement ride in former nuclear cooling tower, Kalkar, Germany
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Universe Rules #1, CERN, Switzerland, 2014

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Homo Deus, tomato greenhouse, The Netherlands, 2016

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Waste Pit of Amager Bakke power plant, Copenhagen 
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Automation, robotic platforms moving sprouts through the production line, Netherlands

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The End of Trash

The population is booming and draining the Earth’s resources. We take from the planet to make products and throw them away.

Take-make-waste—this is the linear economy. For decades it allowed us to have an extraordinary number of products and a comfort unimaginable to previous generations.

In 2018 we wasted around 2/3 of the materials we extracted. Linear economy has to change and we must rethink how we manage resources, how we make and use products, and what we do with the materials afterward.

The so-called Circular Economy is the emerging solution to transition to a better future, sustainability with finance at its core.

Viewing waste as resource we can avoid to create trash designing out waste, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.

Our survival is linked to finding solutions that will minimise our impact on the environment in a circular way inspired by nature.
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 Amager Bakke incineration plant, Copenaghen, Denmark 
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Waste Pit of Amager Bakke power plant, Copenhagen
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The Boneyard, 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309th AMARG), Tucson, Arizona
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Geothermal clouds, steam rising from Hellishei∂i power plant, Iceland
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Insulin production facility, Kalundborg Industiral Symbiosis Park, Denmark
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Aerofarms, hydroponic sprouts growing, Newark, New Jersey, United States
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Newly recycled wool fibres drying in a textile facility in Prato, Italy.

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Soldier Flies in an experimental breeding chamber at an insect farming startup, London.
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Algae bioreactor in Missoula, Montana
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Lava Greenhouse, Iceland
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About

Luca Locatelli is an environmental photographer and film-maker.
His projects are focused on the relations between people, science-technology and the environment.
He creates artworks and takes part in exhibitions as part of his practice.
He often collaborates with international media in order to further contextualise his research.

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The planet must produce more food in the next four decades than all farmers in history harvested in 8,000 years. By 2050, Earth will be home to as many as 10 billion people. If increases in agricultural yield are not achieved, a billion or more may face starvation.

Today, technology seems to offer a solution to humanity's future needs. For centuries greenhouses have been a way to grow vegetables efficiently but in recent years innovation has led to a revolution in how food can be produced, allowing to reduce dependence on water by as much as 90 percent, and in some cases allowed to almost completely eliminated the use of chemical pesticides on plants in greenhouses.

This series portrays some of the most promising high tech agro farming systems around the world, a possible solution for the hunger crisis which will afflict the planet in the next decades. A dystopic view of the future of farming.
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Modern Farmer’s house in the Westland, Netherlands, 2017
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The Future of Farming #1, Westland agro-farming area, The Netherlands, 2017
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Algae Photobioreactor, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 2017
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Homo Deus, tomato greenhouse, The Netherlands, 2016

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Workers inspecting sprouts at Koppert Kress production greenhouse in Westland, the Netherlands, 2017
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Growing Underground, hydroponic growing centre in World War Two bunker, London, 2018
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Delphy, LED development centre, The Netherlands, 2017
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Koppert Cress production greenhouse, Monster, The Netherlands, 2019
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Aerofarms, hydroponic sprouts growing, Newark, New Jersey, United States
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Aerofarms #2, hydroponic sprouts growing, Newark, New Jersey, United States
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Automation, robotic platforms moving sprouts through the production line, Netherlands

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Lettuce and other leafy greens at Siberia B.V. in Maasbree, Netherlands
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Greenhouse using captured carbon to grow tomatoes, Switzerland
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Greenhouse using captured carbon to grow tomatoes, Switzerland
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View of the Hajj from the Mecca Fairmont hotel
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Cities — Intro

In 2009, the number of people living in urban areas  surpassed the number living in rural areas, and since then the world has become more urban than rural. This was the first time that the majority of the world's population lived in a city. 

With a urban population estimated to grow to 6.4 billion by 2050, the challenges of powering, feeding and expanding our cities is ever more pressing.



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London

Skyline of London
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Battersea Power Station
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City of London, the original financial district
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Canary Wharf
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ArcelorMittal Orbit at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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About 10 miles downriver, the Thames Barrier protects central London from tidal flooding, storm surges, and rising sea levels. Its 10 steel gates can be lifted as high as a five-story building.
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Visitors take in the view from the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, known as the as the Walkie-Talkie. Despite a controversial design—a "bullying presence," one critic called it—last year it sold for $1.7 billion to a Hong Kong firm, a record price for a building in the city.
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Dubai

Driver's-seat view on a fully automated (driverless) Dubai Metro train. A monorail, tram, hybrid trolley line, and buses round out the network in the city, where mass transit use is steadily growing. Dubai spurred others in the region—Doha (Qatar) and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) now have metro lines under construction.
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More than two million people depend on the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority plant at Jebel Ali, where natural gas is burned to produce electricity and to desalinate seawater for drinking. Much of the gas is imported. Solar energy could increase Dubai’s security—and its sustainability.
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Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s main artery, glows at dusk. The city designed for cars is now focused on creating smaller, walkable blocks as well as districts of ground-floor shops and restaurants that invite strolling, including the area around the Burj Khalifa, where this image was taken.
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Emiratis take in the new Dubai Canal—a two-mile-long waterway leading to the sea—the culmination of a plan first envisioned in 1959 by Sheikh Rashid, Dubai's modernizing ruler. The project increases the city’s waterfront space, which will be used for retail, parks, housing, marinas, and a ferry service.
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Visitors peer over Dubai from an observation deck at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper at 2,717 feet (828 meters). Dubai aims for superlatives: It's now racing to become one of the planet’s most sustainable cities. The emirate will showcase its efforts as host of Expo 2020, also known as the world’s fair, a six-month exhibition with sustainability as one of its themes.
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The compact streets of the Sustainable City (center) contrast with the adjacent neighborhood’s larger lanes, lots, and homes. The 114-acre development—inspired by Davis, California’s West Village, a net-zero energy community—is grouped into five clusters holding 500 villas, each outfitted with solar panels. About half are now occupied.
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Rarely has a material so inclined to stay put been wrenched so insistently out of place and carried so far from its source. In Italy’s most marble-rich area, known as the Apuan Alps, the abundance is surreal. Hundreds of quarries have operated there since the days of ancient Rome and Michelangelo sculpted most of his statues from this stone. Now the trade is booming due to the demand from Saudi Arabia and other gulf states. The photographs of this area's majestic quarries reveal an isolated world; beautiful, bizarre and severe. It is a self-contained universe of white; simultaneously industrial and natural.
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Films

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LOBA2020

Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2020 - Winner

Winning Series
Award Ceremony 

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The European nation’s energy revolution has made it a leader in replacing nukes and fossil fuels with wind and solar technology.

Click here to see how Germany is preparing for more renewable energy.


Control Room, Lubmin nuclear power station

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Power station metal cleaning, Greifswald Nuclear Power Plant, Germany
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Amusement ride in former nuclear cooling tower, Kalkar, Germany
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Coal and mineral ore storaging facility, Hamburg port, Germany 
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Energiewende, North Sea offshore wind farm, Germany, 2015
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A worker prepares a wind turbine blade for painting at a Siemens factory in Denmark
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Church of St. Gertrud, last remnant of fishermen's village demolished to build the new terminals, Port of Hamburg, Germany
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