Date                19 April to 30 September

Admission       Free

Location          ROCA London Gallery

Curated by environmentally-focused media and events platform Planted, in collaboration with Oliver Heath Design Studio, Bio-Spaces will plunge the visitor into the world of biophilic design, exploring biodiversity and biomimicry in design, as well as biomorphic design, bio-based materials and bioregenerative design.

“As a species we are waking up to the simple fact that we are part of nature,” says Oliver Heath Design Studio, Planted’s biophilic design ambassadors and world-renowned experts on nature-based design.

“Human beings thrive in spaces that are in harmony with the natural elements and systems of our planet. As a result, we are starting to reimagine how our spaces can be designed with nature in mind, working with rather than against it, to create healthier more equitable environments to live in, now and into the future.”

Visitors will journey through a series of modular gridded ‘islands’, each exploring a theme pertinent to the concept of nature-informed design and each populated with exemplary case studies and products that derive inspiration and materials from nature and the environment. A multi-sensory approach alongside touches of greenery will enhance the experience, bringing the water-inspired spaces of the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Roca London Gallery into direct dialogue with like-minded projects and products that aim to reconnect people and spaces with nature.

The first ‘island’ highlights built environments informed and inspired by nature, such as Henning Larsen’s Biotope, home to the Métropole Européenne de Lille. Derived from the Greek expression for “Place of Life”, the Biotope’s expansive network of terraced gardens, balconies and bridges are a habitat for over 65 species of plants, making a significant contribution to C02 reduction and local biodiversity.

Mamou-Mani’s digitally-designed and fabricated architecture takes direct inspiration from botanical genetic coding to create awe-inspiring parametric forms, such as the 2018 Temple Galaxia, designed to be consumed by fire at the 2018 Burning Man Festival.  For a long-term project, progressive fashion brand LESTRANGE commissioned Oliver Heath Design Studio to create biophilic guidelines to bring a more nature-based, regenerative approach to their retail spaces, to “bring consumption back in line with the planet.” Fred Rigby Studio went on to translate these guidelines, designing LESTRANGE’s stunning Coal Drops Yard store using non-toxic materials such as Claywork’s render and mycelium bowls, alongside preserved planting and modular, upgradeable and repairable speakers that play natural soundscapes.

Occupying a separate exhibition ‘island’ are stand out products from designers such as Benchmark, whose AYA Collection, created in collaboration with Foster & Partners, is made from solid FSC British grown ash and finished with low VOC oils for healthy indoor air quality. These natural materials were chosen to promote a restorative and calming environment, while company processes ensure durability and waste elimination are central to design.

Also on display, on a bio-based materials ‘island’, will be a selection of materials that have a positive impact on our interior and exterior environments. Robust, fast-growing crop hemp, that sequesters carbon at an extraordinary rate (15 tons C02 per Hectare) and whose long plant roots help nourish our top soil, is turned into a range of corrugated panels by Erthly, while high quality, wool composite Solidwool acts as a sustainable alternative to today’s petrochemical based structural reinforced plastics and composites.  Biomanufacturing research and development company Biohm harnesses fungi to transform food waste or difficult-to-reuse products into construction materials – such as plant-based concrete alternatives – and regenerative products, such as mycelium-based insulation panels.

“We want visitors to come away from the exhibition with an understanding of how to apply a more nature-based approach to design,” says Planted’s Deborah Spencer, best known for founding the ground-breaking design junction show in 2011. “Our intention is to raise awareness of and educate people about the innovative solutions out there, to create a more regenerative–positive outlook. There has never been a more exciting time to align with nature.”

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