Between the Trees

3 February – 16 April 2023

Trees are of fundamental significance for urban spaces and green areas in the city. They play a central role in cooling the urban space, regulating rainwater, purifying the air and improving the mental and physical health of city dwellers.

But trees also serve as a source of inspiration and as material for design and art.

The exhibition Between the Trees brings these aspects together and uses international projects and works from the fields of art and design to raise awareness for the fact that trees provide an essential basis of life for both people and animals in urban spaces. The aim is to increase the appreciation and integration of trees in urban contexts or spaces. 

The selected projects and works present the tree as an inspiration in terms of material, function and aesthetics, including statements from the fields of conceptual design, industrial design, arts and crafts and the visual arts. Thematically, the projects deal with issues of climate change, material availability and use (wood as a material or alternatives), bionics, the domestication of nature and urban planning.

The exhibited statements from design and art serve as a medium for communicating urgent, sometimes still abstract, issues of sustainability, climate protection and nature conservation. Representative of the richness of nature, the object of the tree creates a sensuous and creative access to experiencing the subject. The exhibition aims to make visible the emotional and cultural aspects of the tree, as well as its significance as a life form in nature and thus also for life on earth.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an ambitious supporting programme. In addition to lectures, guided tours and workshops, exclusive special events are planned in the MAKK and its surroundings to address target groups outside the museum and to promote exchange with passers-by. One of the events will focus on the urban surroundings of the MAKK and thus also on the oldest inner-city park by Kolpingplatz, established at end of the 19th century. There, price tags will be hung from the branches of the trees to provide clear information about the biodiversity that each tree provides for us each and every day.

An exhibition by the Museum of Applied Arts Cologne(MAKK) in collaboration with Ökorausch e.V., sponsored by the Overstolzen Society, the museum's patrons, and the Beatrix Lichtken Foundation.