With designers and architects increasingly looking at how their work can change the world for the better, we are seeing constant innovation in how the everyday things we buy, wear, eat or use are being created and imagined. Often this takes some extraordinary thinking. It requires removing the restraints of what is real and not being limited by what currently exists. That’s when true progress becomes possible.
Designed in collaboration with world-renowned ‘archiobiotect’ Vincent Callebaut, Pollinator Park is a 30-minute interactive and emotionally engaging virtual reality experience that immerses you in a futuristic world where man and nature co-exist in harmony. The VR experience has a special focus on pollinators - the insects, birds and animals that carry pollen grains from the male anthers of a plant to the female stigma of flowers. Pollination is a process that biodiversity and large-scale food production, animal husbandry and even forestry relies on heavily. The project aims to highlight how essential these members of the ecosystem are. As of 2020, pollinators are seriously threatened with an extinction rate that is 100 to 1 000 times higher than normal, according to the UN.
Conceived as part of the EU Pollinators Initiative, Pollinator Park’s goal is to raise awareness, engage society at large and promote collaboration on wild pollinators. Callebaut’s Pollinator Park has been designed for the European Commission in partnership with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Museu de Ciencies Naturals of Barcelona, and Naturalis Biodiversity Center of Leiden. It offers humankind a glimpse into the future via a virtual reality experience that envisions an alternate prospect, where the solution to the rapid decline in pollinators is proposed via good practices in pollinator preservation on multiple levels: territorial land-use, agricultural, forest and urban.
The European Commission notes: ‘When we started developing Pollinator Park, a virtual universe set in the future, we could not help noticing that the designs are inspired by real-life architectural creations of Vincent Callebaut. It was clear to us that having Vincent – the global authority on futuristic and sustainable architecture – on board this project would bring many benefits: increase the quality of the project and amplify its impact.’
The vision encompasses an architectural cluster of biomimetic botanical greenhouses built with mass timber and positive energy. This is in itself an ode to nature. Its organic design and self-sustaining ecosystem is directly bioinspired by pollination, the sexual reproduction method of plants. It thus poetically draws its structure from that of a blooming flower.
Image credit: Vincent Callebaut
Seoul’s floating cultural hub inspired by a manta ray: https://www.designindaba.com/articles/creative-work/futuristic-cultural-centre-inspired-sea
Vincent Callebaut’s eco-skyscraper in Taipei: https://www.designindaba.com/articles/creative-work/vincent-callebaut%E2%80%99s-eco-skyscraper-takes-shape-taipei
The Tour & Taxis building in Brussels, Belgium is an eco-haven: https://www.designindaba.com/articles/creative-work/transforming-built-environment