Living trees support houses and bridges; mushrooms replace synthetic foam for packaging and insulation; leaves grow into decorative patterns inside glass tiles. For an exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut, curator William Myers has selected dozens of projects that illustrate new ways to harness living systems for art, design and production. Biodesign: On the Cross-Pollination of Nature, Science and Creativity will run from 27 September 2013 through 5 January 2014.
The exhibition will glimpse into our possible future and provide inspiration for designers, artists and scientists in the form of varied, in-depth information on new materials and potential biological applications in architecture and design. A range of events and activities will take place around the exhibition, some during the World Food Festival in Rotterdam.
“As we deepen our understanding of biology, we come to appreciate its magnificent sophistication and potential for design. Many forms of life, such as microbes that live in extreme environments, have tremendous potential for applications from medicine to architecture,” Myers says. “Several of these innovations work to align our behavior with the preservation of natural resources, to erect bridges between ecosystems and the built environment; others are more playful or speculative and provoke us to question the meaning of these new technologies.”
Biotechnology and design
The quest to integrate natural processes with design is as old as wood houses. However, the changing climate and rapid depletion of resources heighten its urgency, as humans face the necessity of reshaping their relationship to nature. Clever, usable new ideas present the prospect of a sustainable future and may provide ways to ease the long-running conflict between economic growth and environmental protection. Het Nieuwe Instituut will spend several years researching related issues and carrying out a range of associated projects.
Curator William Myers teaches and writes about the history of architecture and design. He is author of BioDesign: Nature + Science + Creativity, on which the exhibition is based. The book was published in 2012 by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Thames & Hudson in London. Myers has worked with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and Genspace, the first community biotech lab in the United States.
Part of The Ruin
Biodesign: On The Cross-Pollination of Nature, Science and Creativity is part of The Ruin, a kaleidoscopic, dynamic collection of exhibitions illuminating different aspects of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s agenda for the future.
More information about the Biodesign exhbition and the artists, including an interview with William Myers, images, films and more is available at http://biodesign.thenewinstitute.nl
Het Nieuwe Instituut
Tuesday — Saturday
10.00 — 17.00
Sundays and national holidays
11.00 — 17.00