• Helene Steiner, in collaboration with Microsoft Research, Florence, 2016, © Helene Steiner and Microsoft research

  • Harpreet Sareen, in collaboration with Parsons School of Design NY, Elowan, 2018, Foto: © Harpreet Sareen

  • Alexandra Fruhstorfer, Menu From The New Wild, 2017, © Alexandra Fruhstorfer

  • Nicole Hone, Imp Root 05 – Haven Flower, from the project Hydrophytes, 2018, © Nicole Hone & Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Plant Fever – Towards a Phyto-Centered Design

Carbon footprint, climate change, food: we urgently need to rethink our relationship to nature! Plants play a central role here, inspiring designers, scientists, and engineers to devise innovative solutions to current environmental and social issues. The exhibition Plant Fever at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich brings together some fifty international projects from the fields of product design, fashion, and new technologies that demonstrate various ways to tap plants’ hidden potential. For centuries, humans have been accustomed to seeing plants merely as raw material and a decorative element. Because their movements are so much slower than those of animals, plants appear to be motionless and are thus relegated to the role of background scenery. But now people everywhere are starting to look at flora with fresh eyes.

Current debates concern not only a sustainable lifestyle or veganism but also the question of plant intelligence and rights. The latest scientific findings and philosophical reflections suggest that we humans need to rethink our relationship to the plant world and challenge the traditionally accepted dualism of human versus nature.

“We should try to think like plants,” says American ecologist Ian Baldwin, whose words have inspired numerous designers, scientists, and people primarily involved in the world of technology. Many have come to view plants as potential allies in addressing current and future problems in both environmental policy and society.

Plant Fever looks at the future of design not from a people-oriented perspective but through the lens of the plant world. Vegetation is seen here not only as a source of food, raw material, or recreation but as a vital part of the design process. Plant Fever is an exhibition with both political and social dimensions. It takes a firm stand, raises questions, and challenges the audience to engage in a positive and constructive dialogue.

December 3, 2021 bis April 3, 2022
www.museum-gestaltung.ch/en/

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