Nature Design Camp 2023

The Nature Design Camp (NDC) pitched its tents for the second time in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Großes Walsertal and presented an international program on the topic of water.

Experts from near and far from the interdisciplinary fields of crafts, science, activism, food art, performance and design came together in the cultural space Burgruine Blumenegg  and explored the relationship between water and humans from an artistic and scientific perspective in a three-day program together with international participants from seven European countries (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Austria). The result – an invitation for a decelerated weekend in and with nature to critically examine the anthropocentric view and how we can overcome it.

Exchange of regional and international ideas

The project was supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management, the Province of Vorarlberg and the European Union. Based on the principle of being open to everyone and everything, no prior knowledge of art or science was required, the entire NDC was held bilingually in English and German for the first time in the spirit of intercultural exchange with the local community and international participants.

NDC changemaker fellowship 2023

For one month after the NDC, participants had the opportunity to submit free text forms on the topic of bodies of water and thus become part of the Nature Design Guide publication and the Nature Design Camp exhibition. The publication and exhibition offered the opportunity to share their work with a local, regional and international audience in the biosphere reserve and thus inspire more people from and coming to the valley to make their own creative contribution to positive change on site in the region in the future.

Exhibition and publication

In collaboration with the international Walserherbst Festival the accompanying Nature Design Camp exhibition was hosted in the Tal Studio in St. Gerold where the public was invited to linger and interact with the knowledge and art created throughout the project. The Nature Design Guide publication – an interactive guide for a systematic way of thinking and feeling about nature and water in particular. Free texts on bodies of water in their homeland and the connection to water in the biosphere reserve written by the international participants of the NDC, were finally published in Nature Design Guide and displayed as part of the exhibition. The premiere of a short documentary by Bernhard Poscher (Innsbruck, Austria) opened a  vibrant discussion round on various topics such as the relationship between humans and nature, sustainability and climate change amongst the local community and visitors of the exhibition.

The NDC 23 in cooperation with the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Großes Walsertal was curated by Christoph Matt, Eco-Social Designer (Vienna, Austria) and Isadora Alves, artist (Lisbon, Portugal) with support from the biosphere reserve region Petra Schwarzmann (Sonntag-Stein, Austria) and Janine Barbisch (Brienz, Switzerland).