Today VDF has teamed up with Schloss Hollenegg for the virtual opening of an exhibition exploring the wilder side of nature, including a live tour of the historic castle later today.
Taking place in the rooms of Schloss Hollenegg castle in Austria, Walden has been curated by Alice Stori Liechtenstein to encourage people to stop regarding themselves as "masters of the earth" and exploiting nature as a resource.
The castle, which dates back to 1163, is home to Schloss Hollenegg for Design, a cultural programme established by Stori Liechtenstein in 2015.
The Walden show was due to open today but the public opening has been cancelled due to coronavirus. Instead, it is opening as part of VDF with a virtual tour of the castle by Liechtenstein on Dezeen's Instagram.
Walden features works by 20 designers that have been selected by Liechtenstein to "make us reflect on our dysfunctional relationship with nature".
The projects span a diverse range of topics including self-sufficiency and eco-materials, but they are unified by an ambition to offer viewers sustainable ways to bring nature into their lives.
"We should really go back to nature and try and immerse ourselves into it," explained Liechtenstein in Walden's introductory video.
"We have to accept we're not the masters of the earth, and that we're only a very small part of a very complex ecosystem," she continued. "We also have to accept that nature is not an idyllic garden that we have to tame, nor do we have to thoughtlessly use the resources for our own benefit."
The Walden exhibitors are Crafting Plastics!, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Marlène Huissoud, Klemens Schillinger, Sophie Dries, Arvid & Marie, BNAG, Thomas Ballouhey, Thomas Barger, Commonplace Studio, Marianne Drews, Jonas Edvard, Linde Freya, Marc Leschelier, Mischer'traxler, Odd Matter, Marylou Petot, Studio B Severin, Studiotut, Study O Portable, Evalie Wagner and Sander Wassink.
Odd Matter has also experimented with natural materials, presenting a series of vases and planters that are made from mud.
Elsewhere, Klemens Schillinger is introducing the Off-grid Lamp – a portable light that needs a person to "produce their own energy" with a hand crank to function.
More abstract projects include a wool rug by Marlène Huissoud's that is modelled on the movement of insects, and a totem-like dry toilet by design duo Arvid & Marie.
Schloss Hollenegg is a platform that exists to support young and emerging designers from around the world by offering residency programs and organising exhibitions, workshops and symposia.
To find out more about the Walden exhibition, join the live stream and virtual tour taking place at Dezeen's Instagram later today.
About Virtual Design Festival
Virtual Design Festival, the world's first digital design festival, runs from 15 April to 30 June 2020. It is a platform that will bring the architecture and design world together to celebrate the culture and commerce of our industry, and explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances.
VDF will host a rolling programme of online talks, lectures, movies, product launches and more, complementing and supporting fairs and festivals around the world that have had to be postponed or cancelled and it will provide a platform for design businesses, so they can, in turn, support their supply chains.