Tree of Knowledge.

Designed by Nomad Studio, Tree of Knowledge is a temporary installation on axis with Villa Erba, at Lake Como in Italy, hosted by Orticolario 2019 - Creative Spaces International Competition. The concept that shapes the installation is a reflection about the journeys that humanity has accomplished and their impact in our culture, specifically on our relationship with plants. The empty Tree of Knowledge brings to the forefront this disconnection of humankind with its natural environment, from the most basic footprint of a vegetable in the market, to the limits of our role as the top consumer in all ecosystems. Tree of Knowledge poses a question: do we know where our food is coming from?

An empty apple, referencing to an empty Tree of Knowledge, has been placed on a monumental bed of lemons to entice visitors to instantaneously engage with the installation in a blissful state of mind. While the dominant yellow and the playful lemon carpet has a bright joyful connotation, people will also be standing in front of an empty apple surrounded by a field of yellow. The installation plays with the duality of the color yellow, which is both, a joyful color and the color used to alert us, to confront the visitors with the contradiction and spark a personal journey to find their own answers.

Tree of Knowledge is inspired by the amazing journeys throughout the planet that humanity has embarked upon lead by its intrinsic curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit. We have explored the world and returned to our points of origin with ‘pieces’ of other cultures. One of those pieces are the plants that those cultures have domesticated throughout their history.

Tree of Knowledge also takes shape from a reflection on how those journeys have informed cultures, and how the existing culture at that time influenced the journeys, with a specific focus on the role of plants.

Tree of Knowledge focuses in our current disinterest about those journeys and their outcomes, to call our attention towards this emptiness of knowledge. We are currently living in an instantaneous-culture; has this affected the intrinsic curiosity of humans? Is it relevant to understand those journeys from the plant’s perspective?



Villa Erba, Lake Como. Italy

Orticolario - Creative Spaces


Collaborators & Sponsors


Rafael Pérez Armenteros