The unusual thing about the Lausanne-Jardins event is that it takes place in the heart of the city, its mission being to bring together the world of plants and flowers and the truly urban environment. Each garden is much more than a merely utopian, conceptual exercise; it must also be able to become part of city life and make a place for itself, whilst accepting the constraints at the heart of the concept- a garden both in and with the town.
This encounter is what makes ‘Lausanne-Jardins’ unique.
For this, the 5th outing for the event, of course we have chosen to make gardens in the city, and more specifically, the way the city is shown and defined on most maps. So this time we have a more restricted area of intervention, providing a good cross-section of the cityscape.
Onto the street map of the city centre we have cast some seeds, this being the simplest way to get a garden started…
Where they fall, the next event will take root…
Randomly our actions will, in just the same way that the wind or the soles of our shoes carry seeds and transform the landscape around us, create new gardens which will appear in towns. This can be in streets, squares, alleyways, paths, staircases, roof terraces, courtyards of apartment buildings, bridges- endless places that are sometimes well-suited like a park, more often unlikely locations like a dark alley, but always surprising and inviting.
The locations have been selected, and the route has been planned. It runs through the city streets and the hillsides, the open spaces bordering Lake Geneva and the mountains, and the back alleyways, with staircases running down the terrain, to rear access to the metro, and playing fields hidden beneath bridges.
And we are waiting, as along the route which has been sown with these seeds, they are landing, coming down to earth, resting, sinking, growing- Gardens- LANDING.
Our own particular backgrounds lead us to wonder about gardens and how they relate to modernity. How can the world of plants, living and changing things, work outside the traditional planting schemes found in squares for example, in places that have been constructed, concreted and covered in tarmac? And in what form, what kind of container, and how will they be maintained?
If things spring up spontaneously in the oddest places within these gardens combining a rigour of style with the beauty of spontaneity, how well will they travel?
We really needed to think of new ways of bringing in greenery, of creating a different type of transportation, and ways of moving gardens around.
So next spring we are looking forward to seeing a wide range of responses to this question, followed by 25 prototypes to be created in 2014.
The installation of each garden at its location will be a kind of peaceful green guerrilla action, accompanied by a celebratory parade through the city, providing the chance to see the town invaded by green in an inventive, rapid way.
Christophe Ponceau & Adrien Rovero, 2012