Climate change is a global concern, with consequences for everyone. But scientific information doesn’t always translate into political and social action – that’s the “climate paradox.” Climate Garden 2085 is a public science experiment offering visitors a tactile experience to help visualize and imagine effects of future climates on San Francisco’s forests, agriculture, and landscapes.
The exhibition format is the “slow medium” of a garden, a deliberate contrast to an age of information numbness. The garden becomes a narrative environment for holistic sensory immersion, telling a local story with global significance.
In collaboration with the Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich, ETH and the University of Basel’s Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center, Climate Garden 2085 invites the public to observe and interact with plants within temperature-controlled greenhouses and to compare the consequences of action and inaction. The exhibition at swissnex has been adapted to address our local San Francisco agricultural and ecological surroundings in collaboration with Olivier Chetelat, C. Jason Reinier, Packard Jennings, and PlantIt Earth, with assistance from the Exploratorium and UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.
Climate Garden 2085 at swissnex San Francisco is realized by Juanita Schläpfer-Miller, an artist and science communicator based at ETH Zurich, who installed the first Climate Garden at the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center in 2016. A book, Climate Garden 2085, will be released in the US this fall and offers a look into the garden’s creation.
swissnex Gallery will be open weekdays 1-5pm and from 1-8pm on Thursdays.
Juanita Schläpfer-Miller is a science communicator and artist. Juanita studied transdisciplinary knowledge production in art and science, and has been actively involved as a science communicator at the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center for the past five years. With many years experience in museum design and public engagement with science, her work has ranged from particle physics to climate change. She has a passion for tinkering and organizes workshops for children and youth in which they can experience and research experimentally into both plant life and technology. A global nomad, she has lived, worked, and gardened in Switzerland for twenty years.
Climate Garden 2085 photos by J. Astra Brinkmann