The designers hope and envision a future in which a paradigm shift can take place whereby it is no longer just the earth that feeds humans, but it is the products and waste products of human labor that feed the earth. New technologies and increasingly sophisticated processes, they hope, will lead to an integration of artifice and nature, reducing the waste of matter that causes environmental imbalance.

“Ovulo Uno Mission” is a project to experiment with the use of paper as a supporting material and habitat for germination. Paper, with its potential to regenerate itself, mixed with other compounds is used as an essential material for the creation of a small spherical shaped habitat, “Ovulouno”, that is able to have the minimum viable conditions to trigger and develop germination inside and all over its surface.

Waste paper, is processed and used to accommodate seeds and grow sprouts molded into a spherical germinal shape along with a mixture of seeds and other natural biodegradable components that ensure the proper water and moisture reserve for seedling survival over time.

Paper, used as a generator of life, in the “Ovulouno” project thus becomes a material that actively becomes part of the life process. The sown and germinated spheres, adapting to the soil that receives them and mixing with it once the generative process is over, dissolving, contribute to generating a circular life cycle by returning to nature.

The spheres become a “micro landscape” and induce a new vision by imposing a gaze similar to that of an insect flying over the habitat. The installation ” Ovulouno ” was selected from more than 400 projects and realized inside the park of Villa Bottini in Lucca on the occasion of the Biennal of Paper Art and Architecture, Cartasia 2022.

The compositional scheme of Villa Bottini, it is assumed, a model of Lucca’s historical residences, a theorization of Saminiati’s “ideal villa,” follows the compositional scheme of the so-called “Italian-style” garden, organized according to precise geometries and symmetries; in the garden of the villa there is a Nymphaeum attributed to Buontalenti that closes the park of the villa and although not directly in contact with the realized installation ” Ovulouno,” a micro-scale landscape, it becomes an integral part of it.  The typical layout of the Italian garden of the Villa and the closing Nymphaeum becomes, in the design of “Ovulouno”, a motif of dialogue in compositional opposition, as it is placed at the antipodes both in the diversity of the installation and in its physical location in the park of the villa.

Indeed, the installation with its organicity opens the path to the gardens as opposed to the Nymphaeum that closes them. The ovules were placed and scattered randomly, out of the earth, among the roots of pre-existing plants to simulate the spontaneity of nature that follows logics completely distant from simple geometry and symmetry. Numerous germinative ovules about 25 cm in size were created for the occasion. They are structured with a germinative dough that does not contain soil and its derivatives. The seeds, of various species were arranged in several layers inside the paper cellulose that protects them during their development and preserves their moisture.

The development process of the various ovules was periodically mapped as was the surrounding habitat affected by the growth and development of fungi (e.g., Inonotus dryadeus), plants of various species and insects.

The ovules, during the course of the event, withstood natural events such as hailstorms and heavy rains that caused damage to structures in the area; this resistence of the ovules confirms a vocation for resilience to environmental stresses.

The process of ovules development ends with their progressive and total dematerialization and integration into nature. Nepeta cataria, Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus, Lens culinaris and Vigna radiata are some of the plants used in the ovule germination process.

Project details

Design: Enrico Nieri Research, Anna Paola Fagioli
Project Location: Villa Bottini Park, Lucca, Italy
Typology: Installation, micro landscape
Built: 2022

Enrico Nieri Research

Enrico Nieri Research

Based mainly on a platform of interdisciplinary and international collaborations dealing with research in architecture, nature and new technologies. It stands out in various national and international competitions, among the competition-projects we can mention the project for the Radio Base Station for the Venice Lagoon exhibited in the events section, Città d’Acqua, with a collective video for architecture organization, Venice Biennale. of architecture (2004) and the Open living in container competition, Tokyo 2004. His noteworthy works have been published and exhibited in Italy and abroad. Participates in the international exhibition of Young Italian Architects and in various national and international contemporary architecture events.

Anna Paola Fagioli

Anna Paola Fagioli

In Pisa, she deepened her knowledge in the field of building restoration and renovation, and after several years of professional experience in architectural firms, she started her own career in 2005. She carries out fractionation and building renovation work for individuals and companies both as a designer and as a construction manager. She has excellent experience in the field of planning and design and a great passion for the “craft” that accompanies her in a continuous process of study and professional updating both in the field of energy efficiency and in the use of innovative techniques and materials in design and architecture. Since 2014 she has undertaken new research projects in the field of landscape, environmental sustainability, and design specializing more and more in the research of eco-sustainable and innovative materials.