The body of work takes on a playful and aesthetically teasing near-future language. Hortulanus is an exploration into middle-European indigenous technologies that stands exemplary for indigenous knowledge and materials anywhere. The concept is to look at nature-centered technologies which, due to their site- specificity and resilient nature, bear strong potential to be reconsidered in the future. Johanna Seelemann created her pieces using natural well-known materials that regrow annually, are compostable, and simply returnable to the soil, such as straw, loam and crop. The objects aren’t made for permanence, incorporating maintenance, change, and decay in their design.
Hortulanus employs vernacular architecture techniques from Germany while simultaneously questioning the aesthetics that long have been associated with high-tech design and 'green' design. As a result, the project questions whether the high-tech solutions society is currently pursuing will have the longevity and reliability of their nature-centric alternatives.
The objects are made in one part from straw panels, a newly engineered material, using agricultural leftover straw and additives like miscanthus, hemp and sea grass, which are fully biodegradable. Other parts are finished with clay plaster, as it renders the structure more stable and has excellent qualities for the indoor room climate. As loam is raw and unfired, it can be reused and reshaped by simply adding water to it, or it can returned to the ground. Details like corn ears from barley and wheat were collected in the fields in July before the harvest and in a manner accustomed with German harvest ritual objects.
Design, Concept, Production:
Johanna Seelemann, 2021-2022
Exhibition Views by Robert Damisch
Other Pictures by Johanna SeelemanN
Production Second EditioN:
Studio Hahn und Hosemann
Creative Industries Fund NL, Talent Development
Special Thanks to:
Marie-Luise Jesch, Christoph Born, Europäische Bildungsstätte für Lehmbau, Patricia Leister, Sächsischer Landfrauen Verband e.V., Hannelore Krausch, Beerendorfer Landfrauen, Europäische Bildungsstätte für Lehmbau, Felix Krobitzsch, Wachauer Agrar- und Transport GmbH
Green Concept Award, Category Interior and Lifestyle, 2022
︎︎︎ ‘Hortulanus’, Re:Future Lab, Berlin, 14 September - 5 November 2022
︎︎︎ ‘Slow Life’, Finemateria, Piazza Città di Lombardia, Salone del Mobile, Milan, June 2022
︎︎︎ ‘Escapism’ Collectible Fair Curated Section, Berry Dijkstra, Brussels, May 2022
︎︎︎ ‘The Circle’, with Dutch Invertuals, hosted by MAKK - Museum for Applied Arts, Cologne, Jan-April 2022
︎︎︎ ‘Objects for a New Kind of Society’, hosted by Dutch Invertuals and The Future Laboratory, Eindhoven, 2021