The site-specific project is located on the limits of Wollemi National Park, in the UNESCO`s World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains. An exceptional area of Australia recognized for its fragile and ecological diversity with a wide range of habitats. The intervention is proposed as a -living laboratory-, through a conductive thread that weaves different narratives of the landscape. Along the path, the intervention delimits a fragment of forest, as a botanical island with a significant biodiversity in which various endemic species coexist together.

Walking as a sensory experience: The trail offers diverse approximations to the natural environment and the sensory experience of touching, smelling, observing and listening. In this way, the intervention proposes a symbolic delimitation of a pristine forest and the enhancement of its biodiversity, where the path suggests a multilayered journey, weaving together botany and senses.

Research Lab & dissemination: With the intention of increasing the landscape experience and environmental awareness, the project applies interdisciplinary methods of approximation to the site, proposing links between sensory approach and didactic processes. The intervention is complemented by the Research-Lab, a space of knowledge and dissemination where the experiential site work is exposed: mappings, cartographies, videos, sound recordings, sketches, photographs, models, as well as the interactive herbarium.

Interactive herbarium: In order to collect, identify and disseminate the different species that shape the Botanical island , the herbarium is exhibited as a framework in which local community members participate and interact, sharing their own knowledge about the plants identified on the site -uses, applications, relationships, cultural meanings, relationships and personal stories. Among the flora that cohabits this fragment of landscape are several varieties of eucalyptus and angophoras, associated with a variety of cedars, acacias, turpentines, ferns, herbs, mosses, shrubs and wildflowers.

Project details

Designer: X-STUDIO Ivan Juarez
Support: Bilpin international ground for Creative initiatives (BigCi)
Location: Greater Blue Mountains, Australia
Typology: Installation
Built: 2019
Award: BigCi Environmental Award 2018

X-STUDIO Ivan Juarez

X-STUDIO Ivan Juarez

Ivan Juarez is founder and principal of x-studio, a multidisciplinary research practice focused on exploring the relationship between art and function, integrating the disciplines of architecture, landscape, public design, environmental and public art. Through his practice he has produced a series of projects that explore the natural and built environment from a cross-disciplinary approach. A series of works conceived in diverse contexts and scales ranging from landscape and urban interventions to architectonic spaces, from public and environmental installations to urban and landscape strategies. These works have been created in different countries of Europe (Norway, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Portugal) North America (USA and Mexico), South America (Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina), Asia (Japan and Taiwan) and Africa (Senegal). Ivan Juarez is also the founder of Sensory Landscapes, a research lab and educational initiative which is dedicated to sensing the landscape through the conceptualization and findings of innovative methodologies for understanding the environment through sensory experiences.