STUDIO NINA GAUTIER
Productdesign / Material Research / Plants & Colors
What happened in our history that we lost the value of the vegetation surrounding us? When did we get so disconnected from the knowledge of our herbs and their various applications? The polarisation of medicinal practice into old witchcraft and the pharmaceutical industry has left us without any basic knowledge of how to remedy ourselves. Our industries of food, medicine and botany are highly specialized but are totally separated from one another and our understanding of where things originate and how they are produced vanished within.
URTICA_LAB seeks to connect these areas back into one bigger entity, starting from the example of one plant: ‘Urtica dioica’, better known as ‘Nettle’. This plant, native to most parts of our planet, is labelled as the stinging weed but actu- ally hides highly valuable properties all the way from root to its leaves. That is why it needs to protect itself. This instal- lation shows the transformation process of the nettle into different substances. Through alchemical research I created a collection of products that manifests an extremely wide range of applications in food, medicine, textile and colour.
Showing nettle as a key study, the aim is to make people aware of the holistic approach we could have towards plants in general. If a plant likes the nettle offers so generously, what else are we missing out on?
Taking this concept further would possibly result in a `space of essentials` that practically combines these fields into one practice unravelling the process behind it. How would this modern alchemistic process take place, how could it become ritual, sensual and common in our lives?