BIO27 Super Vernaculars Catalogue

As the final act of the 27th edition of the oldest design biennial in the world BIO LjubljanaMuseum of Architecture and Design (MAO) is pleased to announce the release of BIO27 Super Vernaculars catalogue.

Catalogue available in MAO online shop

The 27th edition of Biennial of Design BIO27 Super Vernaculars – Design for a Regenerative Future curated by Jane Withers explores and interrogates a growing and ambitious movement that takes inspiration from vernacular intelligence or local architecture and design traditions to inform innovative responses to 21st century social and environmental challenges.

In contrast to our extractive ‘take make waste’ economy, these practices are rooted in regenerative systems and cultures that live with the earth rather than from it. Vernacular is generally associated with traditional architecture and design practices, but the Super Vernaculars approach is not reactionary or regressive. For BIO27, Super Vernaculars will bring together designers and thinkers who are exploring alternative narratives to the industrial and technocentric as inspiration for 21-st century innovation. In the midst of the pandemic, and a period of seismic change and improvisation, this call to explore cultures and wisdom traditions largely ignored in the modern industrial era as a catalyst to designing a more equitable future is more relevant than ever.

“Super Vernaculars isn’t in any way nostalgic or retrogressive. Rather it asks, what can we learn from history to shape a more sustainable future, are there practices that we’ve left behind that might be worth revisiting as inspiration for innovation, how can contemporary technologies learn from traditional ecological knowledge to address the litany of environmental and social crises that we face,” writes Jane Withers, BIO27 curator, “in the face of governmental and political inertia, one of the strengths of the Super Vernaculars approach is that it is from the ground up and gives people agency and a framework for action.”

The BIO27 Super Vernaculars catalogue, edited by Jane Withers and Ajda Bračič, serves as a handbook and a platform that defines, examines and presents the so called Super Vernaculars approach, as well as inspire and inform the wider design community as well as others interested in creativity and regenerative practices.

Accompanied by an extensive photo and graphics material, it includes essays offering different perspectives on the principles of the super vernacular by Jane Withers, Jan Boelen, Adam Štěch, Marco Sammicheli, Blaž Bajič, Sophie Thomas, Milan Dinevski, Carolien Niebling, Daniel Bell, Dr. Adam Drazin, Kellenberger-White, Medprostor, Špela Spanžel and others.

One of the sections is dedicated to documenting the work processes, from the initial conception to the final outcome of the multi-award winning projects of BIO27 Production Platform teams Pjorkkala,, Krater, Garnitura and Futuring.

The BIO27 Super Vernaculars book, published in Slovenian and English version, was launched at the end of November at a special Super Vernacular Study Day organised by the Royal Academy of Arts and MAO in London. The catalog is printed on Impact Natural 100% recycled 100g paper and hand bound with string by a renowned Slovenian bookbinder Maruša Hren to avoid common toxic book binding glues. 

Curator and Editor: Jane Withers
Executive editor: Ajda Bračič
Catalogue project coordinator: Nuša Zupanc
Contributing Writers: Ria Hawthorn, Miranda Vane
Contributors: Jane Withers, Jan Boelen, Adam Štěch, Marco Sammicheli, Blaž
Bajič, Sophie Thomas, Milan Dinevski, Caroliene Neibling, Daniel Bell, Dr. Adam
Drazin, Kellenberger-White, Medprostor, Špela Spanžel, dr. Bogo Zupančič as
well as Pjorkkala,, Krater, Garnitura and Futuring
Design: Studio Kruh & AA
Publisher: Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO)
Ljubljana 2022, pp.: 252, ang., ill.
ISBN: 978-961-6669-87-0
⁠Price: 40€

photo: Klemen Ilovar/MAO


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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