Design | July 2, 2022 |

Fucking Backyard 2022 009
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum – Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

It’s our f***ing backyard . Designing material futures
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
May 26 – September 04, 2022

The Stedelijk spotlights the greatest challenge of our time: the climate crisis. The exhibition It’s Our F***ing Backyard shows that designers can make a compelling difference: through innovative experiments or by drawing on local knowledge, they invite us to look at materials in a radically new way and offer us a design that is both responsible and aesthetic, comfortable and accessible. Eighty selected projects by designers and companies from all over the world shed light on an array of strategies that explore innovative uses of materials. The exhibition also looks at how soil depletion relates to practices of colonialism, which are still continued by some multinationals. Designers recycle all kinds of waste materials for new products and use the power of nature to create unusual materials. Design studio Bentu, for example, produces furniture from ceramic waste, Tamara Orjola manufactures textiles from pine needles and Basse Stittgen came up with tableware made of cow’s blood.

Fucking Backyard 2022 008
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum – Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

The innovations range from experimental research to new applications of ancient craft techniques. Claudy Jongstra introduced medieval natural dye recipes into Viktor & Rolf’s fashion designs, and Seok-hyeon Yoon used the traditional ottchill lacquer technique to make recyclable ceramics. Maartje Dros and Erik Klarenbeek experiment with diatoms (micro-algae), which bind CO2, to make glass. Other projects focus on generating energy in ways that are less harsh on the environment or forgo the addition of material by switching to a loan economy. Other initiatives focus on tempting users to think differently. All the projects on display give new impetus to the industry and make us more aware of our footprint. The exhibition showcases experiments and prototypes as well as products already on the market. It includes work by Fernando Laposse, FormaFantasma, Christien Meindertsma, Shahar Livne, Donghoon Sohn, Alexandra Kehayoglou, and by manufacturers such as Vitra and Ikea. Designers are also forging new alliances.

Fucking Backyard 2022 006
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum – Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

For example, together with DJ Peggy Gou, the Balinese design studio Space Available designed a chair from 20 kilos of plastic waste collected in Indonesia. The exhibition is also an opportunity for Stedelijk to expand its design collection in this regard. Recent additions include acquisitions by Carissa Ten Tije, Yamuna Forzani, Seok-hyeon Yoon, Joana Schneider, Seungbin Yang, Audrey Large, Tamara Orjola, Yasmin Bawa, and Marjan van Aubel, and donations by Circuform (Ineke Hans) and Space Available. Various studies show that the roots of today’s climate problem lie to a large extent in colonialism, the appropriation of land, and the exploitation and destruction of nature, people, and animals.

Fucking Backyard 2022 001
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum – Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

The imbalances of power that arose then are often still visible today. Nowadays, apart from governments, it is mainly multinational companies that exhaust the soil. The Stedelijk was advised in this field by Raki Ap (speaker/guest lecturer, spokesperson Free West Papua NL and one of the founders in the Netherlands of Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change) and Chihiro Geuzebroek (trainer/speaker and interdisciplinary maker in the field of climate justice, colonialism, Indigenous sovereignty, art & activism). Since the rise of industrial technologies, local knowledge has often been ignored, while we can hugely benefit from what it has to teach us about how to live more symbiotically with nature.

Fucking Backyard 2022 010
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum

For the exhibition, the Stedelijk selected projects by designers who reclaim and revive this knowledge. Rein Wolfs, director of Stedelijk Museum: “Designers are increasingly drawing on their creativity to address social, political and environmental issues. Their innovative approaches encourage us to rethink ways of using materials so that we reduce our impact on the planet-designers look beyond current technology and show us ways in which we can produce and consume better and pollute less. This exhibition intends to make a design at the cutting edge of ecology and innovation widely accessible. By doing so, we want to look at how the Stedelijk could support meaningful climate action, highlight the crucial role that design can play in our society, and help towards making deep, transformative changes.

Fucking Backyard 2022 012
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum – Photo: Tomek Dersu Aaron

For us, as an institution, it also represents an ongoing and renewed call to action; like every organization, we are also addressing ways to reduce our own carbon footprint.” Exhibition curators Amanda Pinatih, design curator, and Ingeborg de Roode, industrial design curator: “The first global climate strike in 2018 reflected a growing awareness that we need to change our way of life. After small-scale initiatives at the end of the last century, more and more is happening in the world of design. This exhibition shows how, through creative practices, makers and manufacturers can provide a host of new possibilities, and how consumers can play their part through the choices they make. Climate change concerns us all – it’s happening in our own backyard.”


Fucking Backyard 2022 002
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum
Fucking Backyard 2022 014
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum – Photo: Tomek Dersu Aaron
Fucking Backyard 2022 018
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum – Photo: Iris Duvekot
Fucking Backyard 2022 017
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum – Photo: Tomek Dersu Aaron
Fucking Backyard 2022 003
Image courtesy of Stedelijk Museum

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to or fill the form below



Design | August 10, 2022

For the September 2022 edition, following two years surrounded by our own four walls, Maison&Objet Paris is inviting visitors to step inside the new kind of world we’ve all been dreaming of, echoing a deep-rooted need for meaning and emotion. A new El Dorado of creativty. Read more


Art | August 8, 2022

Amos Rex’s Subterranean group exhibition explores how artists have depicted the worlds beneath our feet over the centuries, through four different themes. The extensive exhibition features more than 100 works by 62 artists. Read more


Fashion | August 7, 2022

In collaboration with the Musee d'arts of Nantes and the Musee de la Mode-Palais Galliera in Paris, the Musee des Beaux-Arts of Dijon presents a temporary exhibition devoted to the theme of fashion and costume in 18th century painting. Read more


Events | August 3, 2022

ITSLIQUID Group is proud to share the great success of ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, hosted in Rome, at Medina Art Gallery, from July 21 to August 04, 2022, with the participation of more than 30 artists from about 20 different countries. Read more

Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!