The Garden of Machines

Design for the exhibition The Garden of Machines, Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam, 18/04 – 23/08/2015.

The Garden of Machines was built around a narrative highlighting the many points of connection between technology and nature in our daily environments. Placed in a decor that aimed to simulate several natural habitats, various machines and other technological items became the specimens of a surrealistic garden for the visitors to explore. 

To shape the communication of the exhibition, a 3d model was assembled with the use of renderings of plants and other electronic components. The virtual space created suggested a dystopian environment within which nature and technology were intertwined. Appearing at times organic, mechanical or architectural depending on which scale it was looked at, the single line drawing was a way to suggest a kind of speculative digital nature.

Many of the machines presented in the exhibition borrowed characteristics from nature, mimicking specific movements or forms. The uncontrolled morphological alterations caused by the rendering mistakes on the 3D scanned specimens resulted in a series of rather organic looking portraits of machines constructed through mechanical technology. Each file scanned contained a set of texture maps that were catalogued in a ‘mechanical herbarium’, a folder that functioned as a map to the garden, a caption to the exhibition.