View of the exhibition – Resources Bordeaux cultural season / Bordeaux 2021 © Rodolphe Escher

The modern era has fostered the idea that people can control the environment and make nature serve them without limits. These days we know where that leads. The crises we are facing show that it is time to alter this paradigm. While 20th-century industrialisation fundamentally changed the earth’s soils so that more people could be fed more efficiently, the issue of food has become a complex phenomenon today. From the farm to the plate on the table, it involves many processes. The Bordeaux Museum of Decorative Arts and Design is dedicating an exhibition to design in agriculture. Called “Farmer designers: an art of living”, it is running until 17 January 2022.

Soil, topography, water, wind, sun and biological fauna and flora cycles are elements that a farmer observes like a designer in order to cultivate his or her land successfully. The exhibition centres around soil and presents new insights about its role, its functionality and the ecosystem that it houses. Differences in cultures and production are put on show; there is a look at new farming methods and the aspect of time is examined. The show explores France and other continents to track down the origins of a new culture that puts people at the centre of an unprecedented connection with nature and sees them as a link in the chain of life, equal to plants and animals. It seeks to introduce a new generation of farmers who feed us whilst simultaneously wanting to maintain and regenerate the earth and biodiversity. The exhibition also has its own special installation entitled “Real Facts”. It was developed by a group of ECAL students led by designers Erwan Bouroullec and Adrien Rovero at the invitation of the museum.

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