BIO27 in Slovenia turns to vernacular solutions for a more resilient future

BIO27: Super Vernaculars – Design for a Regenerative Future

From May 26 to September 29, 2022, the 27th edition of BIO Ljubliana, one of the oldest design biennials in the world, brings together innovative and eco-friendly designers, architects, thinkers and researchers from all over the world. Organized by Jane Withers – winner of THE DESIGN PRICE 2018 in the ‘Experimentation’ category – BIO27 addresses the theme of ‘Super Vernaculars’, referring to a movement that “draws on vernacular and indigenous architecture and design traditions from around the world to shape a radical vision of a more resilient and equitable future.”

The Super Vernaculars exposure shows how designers use traditional practices and value systems largely ignored in the modern world to develop innovative solutions to current problems such as water scarcity, waste and biodiversity loss. Prioritizing localism, connection to nature and ecological resilience, BIO27’s projects include a city-wide nature-based water management system, low-energy alternatives air conditioning, zero waste food systems and design that supports local communities and landscape regeneration. .

Based at the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) and created in cooperation with the Slovenian Center of Creativity (CzK), the design biennale BIO27 presents this year an extensive collection of works by Ant Studio, Marjan van Aubel, DNA design and architectureIsla Urbana, Kellenberger-White, Fernando LaposseLUMA workshop, Enzo MariBruno Munari, and many others.

all images courtesy of Urban Cerjak/MAO, unless otherwise stated

revisiting forgotten vernaculars and trading traditions

The first part of the exhibition, entitled “Forgotten Vernaculars”, introduces the theme of super vernaculars and looks at the concepts that guide this modern movement. It is a collection of elements and concepts from many historical periods and cultural backgrounds that demonstrate how traditional ways of doing things can inspire modern innovations and serve as reminders of more eco-friendly lifestyles. environment. It also sheds light on the underappreciated but significant interaction between vernacular and 20th century designers.

After this coherent introduction, visitors to BIO27 (see more here) find “Negotiating Traditions,” which examines the various ways designers are reinventing traditional knowledge to meet contemporary needs and challenges. Creatives around the world are using the inherent qualities of natural materials in inventive new applications, modernizing familiar forms with low-impact materials, and harnessing digital media as a tool to build new communities of practice and establish networks for sharing knowledge. knowledge. Projects featured include a terracotta facade designed to cool buildings without the need for energy-intensive air conditioning, paper made from invasive Japanese knotweed to provide productive use of unwanted biomass, and a sausage of the future suitable for climivorous diets. and regenerative agriculture.

BIO27 design biennale in Slovenia turns to vernacular solutions for a more resilient future

When asked why looking back is so important in today’s environment, Jane Withers explains: “I think it’s something that’s totally possible to empower and people and designers can embrace and grow. It’s interesting bbecause it’s kind of a base. Often these things are still kind of memories within the culture that are so easily resurrected.

“The reason I’m interested is because I’ve seen so many people do it – it’s not my invention, it’s there and it’s happening.” We just tried to put it together and thought, is this a useful forum for querying? Are these ideas viable? What works? What’s not working? How can we help strengthen it? Rather, it is an observation of what is happening. the London-based curator and writer says designboom.

BIO27 design biennale in Slovenia turns to vernacular solutions for a more resilient future

image © designboom

Reinvent systems and infrastructures

Visitors are then introduced to the “Reinventing Systems and Infrastructure” section of the exhibition, which illustrates how vernacular design ideas are driving the redesign of manufacturing methods, infrastructure and technologies. Specifically, the exhibition explains that new circular and regenerative systems can be effectively modeled by nature-based systems. When contemporary technology and new scientific insights are integrated, it is possible to build scalable infrastructures that perform at the same level as highly technical industrial equivalents without negatively impacting the environment.

BIO27 design biennale in Slovenia turns to vernacular solutions for a more resilient future

Catalyze the community

The final section, “Catalysing Community,” is about initiatives that put people and communities at the center of design thinking. For regenerative change to have a lasting effect, fair and equal participation is essential. This section examines the use of shared storytelling to connect individuals to their ecosystems and to each other by designers to inspire action and celebrate community.

The examples here show how design can encourage communities to revive and regenerate their own environments through careful stewardship and group enterprise, improving quality of life and generating new livelihoods. Placing communal infrastructure such as waste and water treatment at the heart of a community’s consciousness and care can raise awareness and connect people to the systems they depend on.

BIO27 design biennale in Slovenia turns to vernacular solutions for a more resilient future

“What I hope Super Vernaculars conveys is that it is in no way nostalgic or regressive.” said Jane Withers. According to the curator, Super Vernaculars serves as a starting point for contemporary innovation, new approaches, new thinking. The exhibition seeks to reflect on all these ideas that we have forgotten, or that we have neglected, and which regain meaning. It is a matter of combining ancient practices and contemporary technologies.

“I want visitors to come here and see that there are other ideas for the future than the ones you follow most often. (…) I hope they come back inspired by all these possibilities, and that ‘they will see that there are other ways of doing the things that are already happening, that can move from a niche relatively to a bigger spread, if they get that support and help. it will be helped by this passage from brilliant concepts to action made possible, to reality.

BIO27 design biennale in Slovenia turns to vernacular solutions for a more resilient future

BIO27 design biennale in Slovenia turns to vernacular solutions for a more resilient future BIO27 design biennale in Slovenia turns to vernacular solutions for a more resilient future