Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, The Synthetic Kingdom, 2009, © Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Photo: Carole Suety

Humans, nature and design: An exhibition in Weil am Rhein

The relationship between humans and nature is multifaceted and complex. Nature’s perfection drives us to copy and imitate it. It is the air we breathe and the food we eat. And, when under threat, it serves as a wake-up-call, remining us that we need to take better care of it. That designers have long been borrowing from the forms and mechanisms of nature should come as no surprise. For years now, the work of British artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg has focussed on the relationship between nature, humans, design and technology, presenting the topic in provocative and ironic ways in pieces developed from her own research. What fascinates Ginsberg is the premise that lies at the core of all design: the desire to make things better. But what does »better« mean? Better for whom? And who decides what is better and what is not? In times of radical technological and scientific change, questions such as these are pivotal and form the basis of Ginsberg’s interest in synthetic biology and the design of living matter – a subject which is more relevant than ever, as evidenced by the recent news from Japan about efforts to create human-animal chimeras. The exhibition Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg: Better Nature, presented by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany,showcases Ginsberg’s work on progress, interfering with nature, and the desire to live a better life. The exhibition is set to run until 24 November 2019.

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