Naturphilia: Balancing Artificiality and Nature
“Gritty, wild stuff”, is how Schloss Hollenegg for Design and mischer’traxler studio describe the presented investigations of the role of design and its relationship with our natural environment in their exhibition during this year’s Vienna Design Week.
Each autumn, Vienna Design Week transforms Vienna for ten days — proving it to be, in their eyes, a “City Full of Design”. Continuing it’s critical and open-ended focus on digital literacy and environments from the past two years (2018’s theme being Virtual & Augmented Reality and 2019’s focus being Game Design), this year’s additional digital presence feels more like a fully rounded decision rather than an emergency solution. Surrounding the fair both on- and offline, there are multiple portals into their virtual world: one in which design tools are just as urgently needed as they are in our tangible reality.
Another focus of the fair that is hard to miss is their highlighting of circular economies and ways of making, as well as the role of (technological) design in its relation to the natural environment. One of the shows that focuses on the latter is Schloss Hollenegg for Design and mischer’traxler studio’s exhibition ‘Naturphilia’. An extension of Shloss Hollenegg’s exhibition “Walden” (which we covered back in May), the works on show strive to find a balance between the natural and the artificial; the middle ground between what is deemed technological and ecological.
The designers that are presented within this humble exhibition approach design in a holistic way. Nature, and designs role in it, is decidedly not romanticised, censored or domesticated. Whether through a series of cleaning rings (by Studio B Severin), an ornate vine-filled mural wallpaper (by Charlap Hyman & Herrero), a monumental “dry” toilet (by Arvid & Marie) or small furniture pieces illustrating the amount of metal hidden in specific raw stones (mischer’traxler studio) — the final result is a space that embraces the rough, wild and unexpected, and finds the value in these forms. Ultimately, the aim of the exhibition is to examine and challenge the relationship between humans and nature, with the hope that our perceptions of both will change.
Naturphilia is on view at Fotostudio (Vivenotgasse 30 / 1 / 4,1120 Vienna) until October 4th, 2020 from 11am–8pm and by appointment via Shloss Hollenegg for Design (email@example.com). The exhibition features projects by mischer’traxler studio, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Marlène Huissoud, Klemens Schillinger, Arvid&Marie, Jonas Edvard, Odd Matter, studiotut, studio b severin, Sander Wassink and Evalie Wagner.
Cover Photo: “Bucket Spilling the Sky” Lamp by Sander Wassink.
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