Deutsch Intern
European Ethnology

Gardens in Transformation

Project management: Prof. Dr. Michaela Fenske

Gardens are places of special possibilities. Following the sociologist Michel Foucault, they can be interpreted as heterotopias, a kind of lived utopia. Gardens are also gaining socio-ecological significance in the current times of multiple crises. The research project asks how the current crises are perceived, experienced and shaped in gardens by those working there. What role do gardens play regarding the human perception of species extinction? What experiences do people in gardens have with climate change? What possibilities do gardens offer for shaping the socio-ecological transformation of our societies?

As a contribution to cultural environmental research, the project focuses on gardens as social and ecological spaces of experience. In the sense of the biologist Donna Haraway, they are understood as “places of kinmaking”.

Interview in Politik & Kultur. Zeitung des Deutschen Kulturrats. Nr. 6/23 | Juni 2023

Ein Garten der Vielen. Michaela Fenske im Gespräch über Gärten & sozial-ökologischen Wandel


Christine Bender

  • Agricultural Councilor at the Horticultural Centre Bayern Nord
  • District manager of the fruit and horticultural associations
  •  „Bayern blüht Naturgarten“ certification in Unterfranken

Angelika Feiner

Gottfried Roell 

Marianne Scheu-Helgert

Christine Scherer 

Claudia Schönmüller 

Isolde Keil-Vierheilig 




The “Gardens in Transformation” project would like to thank all artists who have shared their ideas for changing perspectives on gardens with us.

Read about work external to this project: Pollinator Pathmaker is an artwork by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg that is designed for the tastes of pollinators, rather than human aesthetics.

Pollinator Pathmaker, 2021

See also the pictures by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, in: Bending the Curve. Knowledge, Action, [Care] for Biodiversity. Frankfurter Kunstverein, 13 October 2023 to 3 March 2024