Queer Nature

Queerness in nature can be found everywhere. This ongoing investigation explores the little known, disregarded, and rare intimate behaviour of the botanical world.

Time frame 2017 – ongoing
Exhibitions Viper Gallery Prague 2019, Kunstmuseum Liechenstein 2020
Collaborations Theater Festival Basel 2018, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019, depatriarchise design 2020
Talks Museum of Architecture and Design Ljubljana 2019, Royal Academy of Arts London 2020, Camden Art Centre 2021
Awards Future Architecture Platform Nomination, 2019

The plant kingdom is manifold. An infinite variety of shapes, colours, textures, and smells, it is allergic to resemblance. The origin of this extreme diversity results from evolution via reproduction, allowing living beings to adapt to weather, climate, soil conditions, and predators. Reproduction in nature happens with either vegetative or sexual processes. While vegetative propagation is a method of cloning a new individual from growth material like branches, leaves, or root parts, sexual reproduction allows beings to evolve by selecting a balance of favourable genetic characteristics and variations. The diversity of gender expression in plants is all around us. Their reproducing organ – commonly the flower – is often their most distinguishing feature, and responds to a great diversity of gender form variations, accompanied by various attention-seeking behaviours. Some are unisexual and own separate male and female attributes, either on a separate specimen, or with separate male and female flowers on the same plant. Some species are bisexual, also known as simultaneous hermaphroditism, and poses both male and female parts within the same flower. Others are transitionally transgender, also described as sequential hermaphroditism. Such species change their morphological expression from male to female to hermaphrodite, depending on a number of factors like age, time of day, or environmental conditions. The Queer Nature project result is a living collection of items: pressed and dried specimens, illustrations, pictures, and stories. It addresses persons with interests ranging from art, botany and sociology, and especially those curious by the nature of queerness in general.

→ Read the essay “Queer Nature” by Céline Baumann published in the special issue of archithese on queerness, 2020

→ Listen to the podcast “Queer Nature” of the Botanical Mind Online, Camden Art Centre, London, 2020

→ Read the article “Depatriarchise Design !Labs!: Transforming Design Education” by depatriarchise design in interactions magazine, 2020