For centuries, our inherent alienation from nature has prevented us from seeing plants and truly understanding them as more than materials and decorative elements (plant blindness). In recent years, however, new scientific discoveries and philosophical theories have challenged the dualism of human vs nature which is deeply rooted in Western society. In design, in art, and in the natural and technical sciences, more and more people are beginning to turn away from the systematic devaluation and exploitation of the plant world and instead see them for what they are: living beings in their own right that enable us to survive and thrive. Are we at the beginning of a new chapter in the co-evolution of humans and plants? Can design help us reframe our relationship with the vegetal world, showing us the potential of plants as real allies and not just as goods? The multi-year research and travelling exhibition PLANT FEVER (Pflanzenfieber) argues for a profound rethinking of our relationship with plants, proposing to move from a human-centred to a plant-centred design.
In doing so, the exhibition ties in with the long tradition of horticulture at Pillnitz Palace and Park. Historical exhibits, the gardens and greenhouses bear witness to the fact that two Saxon kings were passionate plant lovers: Friedrich August I and his nephew Friedrich August II elevated the park to a botanical collection from about 1780 to 1865. The knowledge gathered here provided decisive impulses for forestry, garden design and technology, among other things. Even today, recognized teaching and research institutions of the Free State and the Federal Government work together in partnership at this site under the name Green Forum Pillnitz. This is also where this year's DESIGN CAMPUS Summer School comes in: The School of Phyto-centred Design, curated by d-o-t-s, will open from July 20 to August 25.
Conceived by d-o-t-s (Laura Drouet and Olivier Lacrouts) and produced by the Centre d’nnovation et de design (CID) in Grand-Hornu, Belgium the exhibition Plant Fever was enlarged and adapted for Pillnitz Palace & Park by the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in collabration with Staatliche Schlösser, Burgen und Gärten Sachsen gGmbH.
Artists and lenders
Merle Bergers, De Bilt (Netherlands) / Sjoerd ter Borg, Aesthetics of Exclusion, Amsterdam (Netherlands) / CID—entre d’nnovation et de design au Grand-Hornu (Belgium) / Liz Ciokajlo, London (UK) / Carole Collet, Living Systems Lab, Central Saint Martins UAL, London (UK) / dach&zephir, Paris (France) / Marie Declerfayt, Brussels (Belgium) / Stefan Diez, München (Germany) / d-o-t-s, mufi (EU) / FROWJIN design by Studio Frowjin, Amsterdam (Netherlands) / Alexandra Fruhstorfer, Wien (Austria) / Gionata Gatto, Rotterdam (Netherlands) / Dubai (UAE) & Giovanni Innella, Rotterdam (Netherlands) / Doha (Qatar) / HighSociety Studio, Johannes Kiniger and Giulia Farencena Casaro, Sesto (Italy) / Nicole Hone, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) / Studio Nienke Hoogvliet, Den Haag (Netherlands) / Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Bioinspired Soft Robotics Laboratory, Genova (Italy) / Markus Jeschaunig—gency in Biosphere, Graz (Austria) / Fernando Laposse, London (UK) / Atelier Luma / Luma Arles, Henriette Waal and Mevce#Çıracı, Arles (France) / Alice & Gavin Munro, Wirksworth (UK) / Patrick Nadeau, Paris (France) / Native Shoes, Vancouver (Canada) / Špela Petric, Amsterdam (Netherlands) / Dan Porat, Tel Aviv (Israel) / Marcin Rusak Studio, Warsaw (Poland) / Harpreet Sareen, Brooklyn (US) / Studio Sarmite, Frankfurt am Main (Germany) / Helene Steiner, London (UK) / Trajna Collective, Ljubljana (Slovenia) / mischer’raxler studio, Wien (Austria) / Pei-Ying Lin, Dimitris Stamatis, Jasmina Weiss, Špela Petric (various countries) / Technische Universität Dresden (Germany) / Sächsische Landesbibliothek, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden (Germany) / Rob Crosse (Germany)
Exhibition 29 April - 31 October 2023. Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden, August-Bökstiegel-Straße 2 - 01326 Dresden (Germany). Hours: daily 10—17, Monday closed.