Since 25 March and until 3 October 2023, the Vitra Design Museum, together with the Wüstenrot Foundation and the Nieuwe Instituut, has been showing a major exhibition on the history and future of the modern garden.
Gardens reflect identities, dreams, and visions. Deeply rooted in their culture, they can unfold immense symbolic potential. The recent revival of horticulture has focused less on the garden as a romantic refuge than as a place where concepts of social justice, biodiversity, and sustainability can be tried and tested. Gardens have become places of the avantgarde. The exhibition »Garden Futures« at the Vitra Design Museum is the first to explore the history and future of modern gardens. Where do today’s garden ideals come from? Will gardens help us achieve a liveable future for everyone? The exhibition addresses these questions using a broad range of examples from design, everyday culture, and landscape architecture – from deckchairs to vertical urban farms, from contemporary community gardens to living buildings to gardens by designers and artists including Roberto Burle Marx, Mien Ruys, and Derek Jarman. The exhibition architecture will be designed by the Italian design duo Formafantasma.
The exhibition is complemented by an extensive supporting programme of lectures, discussions, workshops and guided tours as well as a richly illustrated publication with essays, interviews and case studies.
After the presentation at the Vitra Design Museum, the exhibition will be shown at the Design Museum Helsinki and the Museum of Finnish Architecture (10 November 2023 to 1 April 2024), the Vandalorum in Värnamo (27 April to 13 October 2024), the Nieuwe Insituut in Rotterdam (November 2024 to March 2025) and the V&A Dundee (April to December 2025). Further venues are being planned.
Photo credit: Derek Jarman, Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, Kent, UK, ab 1986.
Photo: © Howard Sooley, 1993