The 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 it has been used for various other functions like a torpedo factory and an electricity company. Our research is triggered by a European legislation from 2016, which consists 35 alien invasive plant species that have been put on a list of Union Concern. This 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 if spatial, legal and social restric¬tions 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 like what is native and what is invasive. We think that by investigating the role of the garden within our society, togeth¬er 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 pose that the Orto Botanico di Venezia can be the perfect stage for reinventing the city garden of the present and the future.