The Maya Forest Garden

Curated by Eugenia Morpurgo

Mango leaves

Mango leaves

Tomato

Tomato

Avocado seed

Avocado seed

Banana fibre

Banana fibre

Corn cob

Corn cob

About this collection

This Collection presents materials which have been selected not for the relations between each other in terms of use or production processes, but rather because they are all potentially producible from the same regenerative and successional agro-ecosystem. Tomato, Maize, Banana tree, Mango and Avocado. The five plants from which the materials originate are all present in the Maya Forest Garden, the traditional meso-american orchard plot which remains the second most biodiverse place in the world second only to the Amazon forest. With this collection I’m suggesting that in the quest for finding sustainable alternatives to oil based materials we need to start looking at the biodiversity present, or not, in the context from which the initial bio resources are cultivated or bred. Because, the ever growing offer of new materials produced with agricultural by-products are only technical solutions which are not questioning the agricultural system that generated the by-products in the first place. Therefore they are not providing real alternatives to the environmental impact of monocultural industrial farming and, in some ways, they are even contributing to confusing people regarding the difference between renewable and extractive resources. The five materials presented here are a peak into a larger analysis which is looking into the potential materials producible during the 20 years of the Maya Forest Garden cycle. This analysis, together with a Material Library which allows us to browse through materials under the logic of species coexistence are all part of the project Syntropic Materials. An ongoing research project which looks at alternative agro-ecological models such as regenerative agriculture practices and attempts to combine these with the latest development in natural material research. In order to design regenerative processes for plant/animal based materials production.

Eugenia Morpurgo

Eugenia Morpurgo is a Italian independent designer researching the impact that production processes have on society, with a focus on investigating and prototyping alternative scenarios and products.