Fantastic Healing Plants.

About the Project

Fantastic Healing Plants is a critical-design project dealing with modern diseases of affluence. The project imagines that humans are able to cultivate plants that can cure these western societal diseases. Thereby it questions the causes and existence of these diseases related to lifestyles and societal conditions in context of the economic development. Furthermore the wondrous landscape of mystical plants is challenging the ways humans exploit nature by cultivation and genetic manipulation.

Individual Project, 2019

Social Design (MA)

Design Academy Eindhoven

Poales Cancerodiacae

“For every disease known to mankind, there is a plant to cure it.“


– Ancient saying

Ranunculales Depressionideae

Ranunculales Diabeteae

The media and the advertising industry promote many products and services that are supposed to cure the symptoms of modern life. [More] These symptoms are nothing new, but the seriousness and their causes are. Thus insomnia, obesity, anxiety disorders, depression, lung and colon cancer and many more are among the diseases of the modern affluent society. Shouldn't we treat the causes rather than the symptoms?

Since the beginning of mankind, we have used the healing powers of nature to alleviate disease. With modern scientific methods, processes are possible which have been discussed as questionable for a long time - for example genome editing. To what extend, price and ethical issues are we breeding living beings to produce a certain substance?

In this project, biomimicry was not used as a scientific method, but rather as a design tool. The resulting plants are chimaeras from existing plant parts with a result similar to the mythical creatures like the Wolpertinger or Jackalope. The names of the fantastic healing plants are composed of botanical names of plants and the medical terms of the diseases which they are supposed to heal.

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Jan-Micha Gamer