On Being Pine

Type: Competition
By: Djernes & Bell
Location:  Kew Gardens
Year: 2022
Published: 01 Jan 2022
Inspired by the mythological metamorphosis of Pitys and the inter-species collaboratio of symbiotic forest-fungal networks Pitys Pinetum seeks to illustrate the deep connection between all things as well as the need for a new way of seeing non-human entities and inter- being. We explore this idea through an atmospheric and tactile exploration of the ontology of genus Pinus. We will invite visitors to experience the essence of pines, how they have been exploited as a resource and how we may form a new caring and regenerative relationship of co-existence as we take steps to reverse the planetary crises.

Traditional ecological knowledge, forgotten building crafts and vernacular techniques, biology, deep- time and new thinking in materials science and regenerative ecology root the building in the past but also create a zglimpse of hope for a resilient future. We are suggesting a new form of hybrid-structure, new CLT building technologies are incorporated with vernacular building crafts. A giant roof or tent-like structure is constructed by CLT sheets which are perforated to form large weaving frames for a thatched rain-screen. Reminiscent of Bivouac shelters the treehouse invites visitors to ponder on the Age of the Symbiocene through the heart of an old pine tree.

The treehouse and the exhibition seek to present different perspectives on being a pine. The treehouse will house objects representing industrially separated production, traditional crafts, ecological connections, senses-based objects as well as an attempt to portray the pines’ perspective.

For example:

Industrial Resource Extraction: Lumber/ CLT, paper, Fuel, Resin, Pinenes, Pine Nuts
Reciprocal Human-Plant relations: Pine-needle basket, medicinal, pine-cones, arts & crafts
Mythology & Folklore: Myths, culture, representation, decoration
Ecology & Connectedness: Forest Fungal connections, inter-breeding, inter-species communication Sensing Pine: Smell, sounds, touch, sight
A Pine’s Perspective: Mother & Father, rootedness, communication signals, photosynthesis, deep-time