RESOLVE Collective to undertake ‘Re-wilding: Coast, Countryside, City’ commission

De La Warr Pavilion, Wellcome Collection and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation are delighted to announce interdisciplinary designers RESOLVE Collective as the recipients of a major new commission, ‘Re-wilding: Coast, Countryside, City’. 

Over the coming year, RESOLVE Collective will make use of the rich resources and histories at each partner site to investigate humanity’s entangled relationship with the vegetal world, inviting new perspectives on environmentalism and re/wilding, long-term thinking, and practical solutions to living equitably with others and with nature. They will research new and ancient approaches to land use while on residency at West Dean College; using this knowledge, they will collaborate with young people in Bexhill-on-Sea and London to create a new commission for inclusion in Wellcome Collection’s Rooted Beings exhibition in February 2022, and a solo exhibition at De La Warr Pavilion in May 2022. 

Explore Categories

About RESOLVE Collective

RESOLVE Collective is an interdisciplinary design collective that combines architecture, engineering,  technology and art to address social challenges. They have delivered numerous projects, workshops, publications, and talks in the UK and across Europe, all of which look toward realising just and equitable visions of change in our built environment. 

Much of their work aims to provide platforms for the production of new knowledge and ideas, whilst collaborating and organising to help build resilience in our communities. An integral part of this way of working means designing with and for young people and under-represented groups in society.  

Here, ‘design’ encompasses both physical and systemic intervention, exploring ways of using a project’s site as a resource and working with different communities as stakeholders in the short and long-term management of projects. For us, design carries more than aesthetic value; it is also a mechanism for political and socio-economic change. 

This commission represents the first time that RESOLVE Collective will be working in a rural setting. 

Coast, City, Countryside

De La Warr Pavilion: The Coast

The De La Warr Pavilion, opened in 1935 as the ‘people’s palace for art and culture’, is an arts centre in an iconic modernist building designed by refugee Erich Mendelsohn and émigré Serge Chermayeff. The programme includes exhibitions, new commissions and residencies by British and international artists, as well as exhibitions focusing on design and visual culture, alongside events, talks and performance, and projects that unfold across the building and into the neighbourhood.   

Wellcome Collection: The City

Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library exploring health and human experience. Through  exhibitions, collections, live programming, digital, broadcast and publishing, we create opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, medicine, life and art.  

Rooted Beings (24 February - 29 August 2022) will examine our symbiotic relationship with plants while presenting them as ancient, complex and sensitive beings that enable all existence. With the current environmental crisis exposing the vital yet fragile entanglements between human and planetary health, the exhibition will reconsider vegetal life beyond its use for human consumption and rethink its significance and agency. It will engage with regenerative approaches to nurture our planet and raise awareness of environmental justice, learning from plant behaviour to ultimately reimagine our shared space as active agents in ecosystems.  

West Dean College: The Countryside

Located in the South Downs National Park, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is renowned for its teaching, its Collection and Archives, research and residency programme. Co-ordinated by the School of Arts, the full-board residencies are designed to support creative practitioners to develop research projects and studio-based practices, providing access to the 6,000-acre West Dean Estate, the Gardens, and the outstanding cultural resources and making facilities within the college.  

This commission intersects with two keys research areas for the College: firstly, Whose Heritage? Rethinking the West Dean Collection, which interrogates the legacy of colonialism as evidenced in the College’s Collection, Archive and Gardens. This project questions how broader social and cultural engagement, as well as thinking and working with artists, can make an active contribution towards institutional ambitions and change. 

Secondly, the Critical Landscapes Research Group explores historical, social, political, and environmental approaches to the rural as a place of critical thinking, cultural production, radical education, and countercultural practice. The research is underpinned by a focus on decolonising the countryside and proposes strategies to improve access for and representation of marginalised groups in a pastoral British landscape.