Plant Fever. Towards a phyto-centred design
CID – Centre d’Innovation et de Design au Grand-Hornu, Belgium
May 31 – September 13, 2020
For centuries, our inherent alienation from nature has prevented us from truly understanding the potential of plants as more than simple materials or decorative objects. In recent years, however, new scientific discoveries and philosophical approaches have reframed our relationship with them, questioning the dualism human/nature so much rooted in Western thinking. Echoing the belief of American ecologist Ian Baldwin that “we should try to think like plants”, designers, scientists and engineers, started to look into plants’ structures and behaviours adopting them as allies to develop solutions for current and upcoming environmental and social issues.
Plant Fever proposes to look at the future of design from this new vegetal perspective, moving from a human-centred to a phyto-centred design. Spanning from products and fashion items to material research, open-source devices and emerging technologies, a selection of approx. 50 exhibits – representing the work of creatives from more than 20 countries – will investigate notions such as plant blindness, eco-feminism, forestry, biomimicry and upcycling, but also post-colonialism and cultural landscapes.
Conceived as a militant exposition, Plant Fever will not fear to take a stand, ask critical questions and call for new radical perspectives, involving the public in a positive, inspiring and constructive conversation. Parallel to the physical space of the museum, the discourse of the exhibition will be further developed through an accompanying web platform, as well as a dedicated conference & workshop programme.