Garden Futures

Designing with Nature

Gardens are spaces of experimentation and recreation, of pleasure and production. They have deep cultural roots and express different identities around the globe. In the past few years, we have seen new garden concepts emerge as tools to shape and understand our future, experiment with sustainability and foster societal change. The garden is taking centre stage – not just as a romantic hideaway, but as a place to create a better future. Starting from this perspective, the exhibition »Garden Futures« examines the history, present, and future of the garden as a unique place of experimentation.

Historically, the garden has symbolised a kind of paradise in many cultures: as a »hortus conclusus« protected from the outside world, or as an incubator of new ideas and utopian visions for society. Since the late 19th century, gardens have become known as democratic places of learning and entertainment, while the idea of a »garden city« became an urbanistic paradigm that still influences city planning today. In recent years, the idea of the garden has been even closer connected to the world of design and architecture, including new concepts urban farming, or alternative energy production.

Where do today’s garden ideals come from? Will gardens help us achieve a liveable future for everyone? The exhibition addresses these questions using a broad range of examples from design, everyday culture, and landscape architecture – from deckchairs to vertical urban farms, from contemporary community gardens to living buildings or gardens by designers and artists including Roberto Burle Marx, Mien Ruys, and Derek Jarman. 

An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum, the Wüstenrot Foundation, and the Nieuwe Instituut

600 – 1,000 m² / 6,000 – 10,000 sq ft

Viviane Stappmanns
Nina Steinmüller
Marten Kuijpers
Maria Heinrich

Exhibition Design

Graphic Design 
Import/Export, Berlin

Detailed information
Illustrated Concept
Exhibition Film

Exhibition Tour
25.03.2023 – 03.10.2023, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany
10.11.2023 – 31.03.2024, Design Museum Helsinki and Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki, Finland
27.04.2024 – 13.10.2024, Vandalorum, Värnamo, Sweden
16.11.2024 – 13.04.2025, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Netherlands
17.05.2025 – February 2026, V&A Dundee, Scotland
For further information please contact