New book

Reflections on people and the biosphere

Carl Folke reflects on 30 years of research in new photo book

Story highlights

  • New book by Carl Folke and legendary designer Lars Hall
  • Features insights from 30 years of resilience research and unique photos from the Stockholm Archipelag
  • The book communicates that we are strongly dependent on a healthy and functioning planet for our own development

Reflections – on People and the Biosphere is a new book by Centre Science Director Carl Folke and legendary designer/art director Lars Hall. The book features insights from 30 years of resilience research together with a set of unique photos from the Stockholm Archipelago during the same time period.

Reconnecting to the biosphere
Using quotes from songs by international artists and insights from his own and others research on social-ecological systems, Carl Folke describes the dynamic relationship between humans and the biosphere in a thought-provoking manner. The images and the text interact with a rhythm, reminding us again and again of the importance of reconnecting our social and economic systems to the biosphere.

"The whole book represents a mind-shift, from treating the planet as an externality to recognizing that we are strongly dependent on a healthy and functioning planet for our own development," explains Carl in the movie above.

Artistic expression
In the movie Carl also describes why he has chosen to work with an artistic expression to communicate scientific insights, and how this perspective can complement the research findings showing that we need to reconnect to nature.

"The photos and the selected musical quotes show very strongly the emotional connection to the biosphere that we all are a part of."

Shifting scenes
The photos are from Lars Hall's personal collection and are a result of him documenting a particular bit of nature in Stockholm’s northern archipelago. From the exact same point on Grillskäret Island, various seasons and times throughout the day have been documented by his camera for 30 years. The result is a unique exposé of nature's shifting scenes – from a peaceful atmosphere to the dramatically menacing.

Lars Hall is legendary within the field of design through his work at Hall&Cederquist during the 1970s and Lars Hall Design AB from 1990 onwards. He has been a key advocate for the photographic image via the gallery Camera Obscura that he established back in the 1970s.

On display
The book project has also been part of an exhibition at the art gallery Artipelag, where the slide show "Reflections on Mankind and the Biosphere" was on display this summer (see video below). The book that was published by Langenskiöld Publishers in 2014 will also result in an outdoor photo exhibition which is planned to be launched spring 2015 in a central location of Stockholm.

Staff details

Carl Folke is the Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. He has extensive experience in transdisciplinary collaboration and has worked with ecosystem dynamics and services as well as the social and economic dimension of ecosystem management.