VOYNICH

Fall 2020

Doomsday Vault

Oh, Svalbard! The planet's last hope resting in the heart of a frozen mountain. In a remote archipelago somewhere between Norway and the North Pole. Under a vault carved hundreds of metres deep into the rock. Inside a bunker with millions of seeds, samples of all edible plants to feed our species in the event of a global disaster. A modern-day Noah's Ark designed for eternal life. Ready to cope with any catastrophe, whether natural or man-made.

Few can step inside its doors, which tower monumentally like a lighthouse over the huge mass of ice and provide access to an underground control room that records and catalogues each seed, previously dehydrated and subjected to X-rays and then placed into an airtight aluminium pouch within a refrigerated chamber at a constant temperature of -18°C, an essential condition for its properties to remain intact for centuries.


Stored on endless shelves, the boxes cover the majority of species that have ever been cultivated and whose origins date back to the dawn of agriculture. The figures are simply staggering: 150,000 varieties of wheat and rice, 80,000 of barley, 40,000 of beans and 25,000 of soya beans sit alongside more exotic seeds, such as the butterfly pea, the sacred corn of the Cherokee, the Bambara groundnut, the Asian cowpea or the unusual Estonian potato, among many others.


A treasure trove of genetic information to which most nations contribute, from the United States to Burundi, Germany, Russia, Iraq and North Korea, without differences or distinctions. All through valuable contributions. Unrepeatable samples: duplicates or copies are not accepted. And only in the event of an emergency in the donor country can they be removed. If the seeds haven't passed through the hermetic floodgates or been planted again, this is a sign that the Apocalypse hasn't (yet) arrived.

So we've travelled here, to the Doomsday Vault, to design this new collection of earrings and necklaces that reflect two things: on the one hand, its untamed surroundings, with hypnotic icebergs, jagged glaciers and the silver-tinged light of Arctic nights caressing the anthracite walls that safeguard the world's plants; and on the other, the seeds themselves, the true stars, with their organic and sinuous shapes in shades of gold, burgundy and translucent black. Miniature capsules bursting with life. With their limitless power and their extraordinary might, always ready to be thawed to rescue humankind again.