Garden Futures

Garden Futures

Vitra Design Museum , 2023

     Garden Futures: Design with Nature is an exhibition hosted at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. The exhibiton explores the history, future and socio-cultural impact of gardens. 

Historically the garden has often been designed as an indoor space as for example in the Italian garden tradition with the aim to domesticize what is considered wild. The exhibition design is purposely avoiding to recreate or reference any stereotypical idea of the garden as an idealized dimension of nature and freedom. The content of the shows is instead presented in a space that underlines the idea of the domestic environment, with the use of upholstered sittings and carpeted surfaces. The design of the show aim to highlight the anthropocentric dimension of garden design and the paradoxical ideologies that sees nature and culture, indoor, outdoor as polarized notions. 
№ – Room 1, Paradise
№ – Room 1, Paradise
     Starting from the concept of Paradise, the first room wants to give the visitor a large vision of the totality of the Garden, from its sacrality to its historical shapes, from the pleasure to the labor it needs. The space plays with a monochromatic green tone covering the floor and the displays. A media installation, which investigates the idea of Paradise through paintings, photos and visual images, is surrounded by taxonomy of tools, an emblem of the work and a collection of chairs, since ever a symbol of pleasure and comfort in a garden.
№ – Room 2, Garden Politics
     The second room explores the strict relationship between the act of gardening and political and social development, such as the global colonial expansion, the idea of Garden City, forms of activism such as Garden Guerrillas, and the ideological idea of lawn. The exhibition design represents an extension of this concept through four cabinets, containing each a different chapter. As cabinets of curiosity, the displays allow a deeper investigation of every chapter to know more about the entire storytelling.
№ – Room 3, Testing Grounds
№ – Room 3, Testing Grounds
     Since ever, garden makers have tried to give different shapes to the garden and make them as an expression of their vision. The third room shows a selection of contemporary architects, designers, and gardeners such as Mien Ruys, Roberto Burle Marx, Piet Oudolf, and many others, that show how gardens can be an essential field of experimentation. Playing with a yellow tone in relation to the green carpet, the exhibition design places individually on the wall all the different visions. In the middle of the room, a cinema allows having a total view of all the works exhibited.
№ – Room 4, The World as a Garden
№ – Room 4, The World as a Garden
    The last room has a look at the future of the gardens and how they become a mirror of what is happening in the world, and an opportunity for experimentation and investigation of different aspects such as climate change, Anthropocene, interspecies relations, and more. The exhibition design wants to set a soft stage as a welcoming to new ideas and researches with a green carpet that covers the totality of the floor. Emerald green displays are placed around the room to emphasize the power of what is exhibited.

Notes, References and External Links

1. Vitra Design Museum numbers among the world’s leading museums of design. It is dedicated to the research and presentation of design, past and present, and examines design’s relationship to architecture, art and everyday culture.

2. Garden Futures: Designing with Nature is an exhibition by Vitra Design Museum, the Wüstenrot Foundation and Nieuwe Instituut. The exhibition focuses on the history and future of the modern garden. 


CONCEPT, DESIGN Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin
DIRECTOR Mateo Kries - Vitra Design Museum, Aric Chen - Nieuwe Instituut
CURATOR Viviane Stappmans - Vitra Design Museum, Marten Kujpers - Nieuwe Instituut
CO-CURATOR Nina Steinmuller
GRAPHIC IDENTITY Lorenz Klingebiel and Dominik Krauss
PHOTO CREDITS © Vitra Design Museum, Ludger Paffrath, Gabriele Milanese


Archiproducts, 'Garden Futures: Designing with Nature', for a Sustainable Future
Frizzifrizzi, Garden Futures. Designing with Nature
ElleDecor, Il girardio del futuro è un campo di battaglia 
Stylepark, The Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein is presenting, for the first time, a major exhibition on the history and future of the modern garden
Stirworld, 'Garden Futures': Vitra Design Museum traces the roots and offshoots of gardens
Adpro, Is This the Garden of the Future?
Damnmagazine, Garden Futures: Designing with Nature
IlGiornaleDell'Architettura, Future Gardens, l’idea di giardino dalla Genesi al domani