Sensory Landscapes

Sicily, Italy
Biennial of the Mediterranean Garden
Radicepura Botanical Park

Located in a central position in the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Sicily has been characterized as a territory of encounter, hybridization and constant evolution in which countless biological dynamics and cultural movements have taken place throughout history.

On the northeast coast of the island, between the Etna volcano and the Ionian Sea, a unique landscape develops as a biological point of reference in the Mediterranean scenario, framing an exceptional ecosystem influenced by a subtropical climate in which various plant species coexist in a productive land that is constantly nourished by black volcanic sand scattered by the eruptions of Etna.

It is in this background that Sensory Landscapes site-intervention has been conceived. Sensory Landscapes pays homage to this particular landscape through a walkable garden that brings together a collection of plants that represent the heritage of the Mediterranean culture. In this way, the project is proposed as an interactive and experiential space that appeals to different senses – touch, smell, sight and taste – and enhances the perception of the landscape through sensitive dialogues, connecting the natural elements that identify the territory into experiences: scents, textures, flavors, sounds, scenes.

Along the garden, a continuous thread links visitors and sensory experiences. With this approach, Sensory Landscapes connects a series of scenarios with perceptions, creating a multi-layered garden across different tangible and intangible landscapes -scentscapes (aromatic plants), landscapes of taste (edible plants), hapticscapes (texture plants) and visual landscapes.

The project is also inspired from the culture of container gardening, the Mediterranean practice of growing plants in pots placed by neighbors in urban and outdoor domestic spaces such as courtyards, balconies, terraces, squares or sidewalks.

Participatory garden: The project proposes public participation becoming a collective device enriched by the interaction of visitors, offering different ways of engagement: a space for dialogue, dissemination and exchanging. An open space to develop diverse activities – drawing, writing, reading, eating -. The installation also promotes the act of sharing plants as a participatory experience, offering the possibility for visitors to bring their own plant, connecting them through the immediacy of sharing.

Children-Lab: The garden is complemented by the Children-Lab, a space for knowledge and plant growing where children generate their own orchards from local seeds. The space proposes ludic and didactic activities based on experiential learning where they discover and share notions of their own territory in connection to natural cycles, local food practices and farming process – seeding, sowing and harvesting – .

The system: As an interactive display-system that has the capacity for constant transformation, the installation creates different types of scenarios. The system can be modified by changing its layout; grow or decrease along the site generating different spaces and activities.

Sensory Landscapes is taking part of The Biennial of the Mediterranean Garden, an event that rediscovers the Mediterranean garden to promote environmental culture through art, design, literature and music. The Biennial takes place in the Radicepura Botanical Park, a five-hectare horticultural park which is home to more than 3,000 botanical species and focuses on different areas related to botanical education, itineraries or research of the Mediterranean flora.


Project: Ivan Juarez | x-studio

Event: Radicepura Garden Festival | Biennale del Giardino Mediterraneo

Curator: Antonio Perazzi

Festival´s production director: Luca Gangemi

Project design coordinator: Chiara La Rosa

Plant advisor: Franco Livoti

Project manager and production: Radicepura Team

Greenhouse: Piante Faro

Supported by Fondazione Radicepura