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HUMAN NATURE is Natural Material Studio’s largest solo exhibition to date, prepared and developed at the Danish Art Workshops. Using their bio-based materials to suggest a future of fluid boundary points between people, space and design they exhibit at Copenhagen Contemporary‘s Hall 6 throughout 3daysofdesign, June 7 – 9, 2023.

June 2023

“Through HUMAN NATURE we want to explore a non-narrative aesthetic as an opposition to the highly constructional; to host a pure sensory and explorative bodily experience with the materials, their given forms and the environment in which they sit”, says Bonnie Hvillum – founder of Natural Material Studio

Collaborating with nature

Through years of development, Natural Material Studio has been walking a tightrope between order and chaos, control and independent organic agency – culminating in the installation HUMAN NATURE. Spatially designed to take advantage of the large vaulted ceilings of Copenhagen Contemporary, the installation aims to bring together humans and the natural world through collaboration and conversation. Seating objects constructed from the studio’s own bio-foams are interjected by floor-to-ceiling material works, allowing visitors to interact and touch the various functional typologies developed by Natural Material Studio. While these spaces and objects are functional, they present the highly artistic language of Natural Material Studio through their forms, rough surfaces and textural qualities, imbued through the crafting process. 

“From a position where we develop and create new, natural materials, we are determined to understand how we can design in collaboration with nature and the natural occurrences that happen within these organic processes. We are seeking to find the balancing point between human and nature’s own agency”, says Bonnie Hvillum.

Bio-textiles, sculptural seating elements and framed lighting objects

All works for the installation are created using Natural Material Studio’s own developed biomaterials and material processes, using biopolymers, natural softeners, clay and chalk. 

The works and materials pendulate in this graduation of human-nature agency using the frame as both the working method and center point for all the works. The up to 7 meter long 28 handcrafted bio-textile pieces ME-B038-1-28 have been casted in wooden frames for handling during drying, but within this frame, the material behaves and transforms with its own will and strength. The sculptural seating works SE-B001-I-15 are casted in a three-dimensional frame using Natural Material Studio’s self-developed bio-foam for soft and tactile interaction. Within this casting form the material can act with its own will. The lighting works FE-B002-1-4 are created by forcely bolstering a metal frame with the handcrafted bio-textiles, fixing cold toned LED light.

The installation is designed as a situational whole, as a spatial art piece for a bodily experience of self. The repetitive spatial pattern is used to reflect a sense of monotony, with reference to Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of repetition: in the power of the continuous and automatic, an attention is drawn to a spiritual encounter of receptiveness. Taking a straight, graphical, almost pixelated curational direction allows for the natural personality of the biomaterials.