"It would be very much helpful if we could actually see that plants also have the “rights” to be here and that nature should remain in some state of well-being, and that we are actually threatening that well-being. So I think that would be the link."
Jan den Ouden
"Don’t disturb the soil too much. Don’t add too many fertilisers. Don’t use herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides. That’s the best advice much more than giving advices about what we should do. It’s more about the refraining from doing things."
Prof. Jan den Ouden
Wageningen University, NL
Department of Environmental Sciences
Forest Ecology and Forest Management
Prof. Thomas Kuijper
Digital print, 42 x 59.4 cm, 4pp
Graphic design by Suk Go
The core of this research, ‘The dignity of plants’, is inspired by the ethical discussion on the legislative context by the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH, 2008). In order to investigate how the concept of plant rights could relate to the design industry, I focused on monoculture by choosing pine – the most common timber used for production by IKEA – as a case study. Modern forestry is largely based on monocultures. However, monoculture is known to be detrimental to the environment as it destroys the biodiversity and disturbs the ecosystem. Unlike general opinions of monocultures, the conclusion of such pine study contradicts our ethical values, making them vulnerable. Sometimes abiding with a monoculture is perfectly in line with the aim to favour sustainable, natural processes. Seemingly sound intuitions are all too often based on false sentiments and prejudices.
© Minji Choi 2019
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