Chapter 15: Forbidden Garden
For this Exploratorium we will research and investigate the possibilities for a radical new garden on the former site of the 19th-century Orto Botanico di Venezia at San Giobbe. The site has long been abandoned since being used for various other functions like a torpedo factory and an electricity company. Our research is triggered by a 2016 European piece of legislation, which consists of 35 alien invasive plant species that have been put onto a list of Union Concern, which means that these plant species have been degraded to a minority that cannot be traded, imported, sold or grown within the borders of the European Union. We want to provoke this European legislation by dealing with the question of whether spatial, legal and social restrictions always contribute to a more biodiverse society. We want to question the impact of legislation on nature and our built environment by exploring the theme of nature versus culture, and pose questions about what is native and what is invasive. We think that by investigating the role of the garden within our society, together as designers and researchers, we will find new ways of working with nature and our built environment, which are both under enormous pressure. For this we propose that the Orto Botanico di Venezia could be the perfect stage for reinventing the city garden of the present and the future.
Interview - Forbidden Garden
Interview by Caroline Nevejan and Jane da Mosto with the participants of the 'Forbidden Garden' project group that is part of the Exploratiorium. This research program took place in the context the Dutch contribution of the 17th architecture Biennale in Venice.