A new exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum explores the 'history and future of modern gardens'
By Josh Niland|
Monday, May 8, 2023
A new exhibition on view at Germany’s Vitra Design Museum focuses on the recent reconfiguration of horticulture around social and environmental justice concerns in four sections.
Put on with assistance from the Het Nieuwe Instituut and Wüstenrot Foundation, Garden Futures: Designing with Nature examines vertical farms, community gardens, and other designs from Derek Jarman, Mien Ruys, and Roberto Burle Marx in context in order to obtain answers about their future and philosophical past.
Examples as far ranging as the British 19th-century Utopian reformer Ebenezer Howard and contemporary industry mainstay Piet Oudolf are brought in at different points in the exhibition to make a case for the importance of gardens as wide-reaching intersections of visual arts, architecture, and politics — a notion curators claim is currently underappreciated by the wider academic design community.
As the exhibition's curators say: “The questions raised by the group still remain the subject of much debate: who is entitled to a garden, what is a garden for, and how can gardens be integrated into an urban environment?” The answers provided then work to prove an idealistic worldview, whereby “the entire planet emerges as a garden that we need to cultivate, tend, and use responsibly.”
The exhibition is designed by the Italian firm Formafantasma and will be accompanied by a “lavishly illustrated” publication with in-depth essays, interviews with leading garden designers, and case studies.
Garden Futures: Designing with Nature is open to the public now and will remain on view until October 3rd. Learn more about the exhibition here.
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