Location: chateau Cheaumont, Cheaumont-sur-Loire, FR
Concept design: David Veldhoen
in collaboration with Martin Arfalk and Jorryt Braaksma
Materials: bamboo, steel wire, beans (Phaseolus, Vicia, Cicer, Glycine, etc)
Seize: 520 m2
Status: contest, not realised
Who recalls biology class in high school on the origins of genetics and Mendel's experiments in hybridization? Maybe everyone does. What most of us miss out on is, though, that Mendel did not by accident chose the bean plant for breeding. It is because of the extraordinary speed of growth of the bean – here we might think of the giant bean twine in Jack and the Beanstalk – and its natural powers of resistance that makes it so suitable for breeding.
For this reason, 'Pangean Pulses' is a concept for a temporary bean garden. It shows and offers a huge variety of different bean plants and beans to the visitors – to delve into the ubiquity of its different flowers, seizes, colours and tastes. As such, the garden reminds us of the richness of the bean itself: it points to the big amounts of healthy proteins that can provide a valuable alternative to meat. And it points to the fact that since 1550 the bean and its millions species have spread worldwide. With origins in Peru, the bean has travelled with men across the world, metaphorically recreating Pangea, the previous supercontinent of 250 million years ago. To help the beans grow, the garden consists of a spider web structure of bamboo sticks, interconnected with steel wire. Pausing in this bean jungle, one can rest on one of the 'yin-yang bean bags' and ponder on which bean/s to take home to plant a bean garden there, too.