Denver Art Museum presents Biophilia: Nature Reimagined in May 2024

Multisensory exhibition explores humanity’s instinctive desire to connect with the natural world through architecture, art, and design. Iris van Herpen, Studio Gang, teamLab, Joris Laarman, and DRIFT among trailblazing designers and artists featured

DENVER–August 22, 2023–In summer 2024, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) will present Biophilia: Nature Reimagined, a multisensory exhibition that brings together more than 70 imaginative works, including architectural models and photographs, objects, fashion, digital installations and immersive art experiences that collectively highlight the transformative power of nature. Featuring works by an international roster of designers and artists including Iris van Herpen, Studio Gang, teamLab, Joris Laarman and DRIFT, among others, Biophilia will be on view from May 5 through August 11, 2024, in the museum’s Anschutz and Martin & McCormick galleries on level 2 of the Hamilton Building and is included in general admission

Two visitors looking up at a group of hanging light installations

DRIFT, Meadow, 2017. Site-specific kinetic sculpture; variable dimensions. © 2023 DRIFT. Represented by PACE Gallery. Photograph by Oriol Tarridas, courtesy of Superblue Miami

Shadows of light created by chandelier shaped like a plant

Nervous System, Floraform Chandelier, 2017. 3-D-printed nylon; 43 1/4 in. diam. Manufactured by Shapeways, New York City. Denver Art Museum: Funds from the Architecture and Design Collectors’ Council, 2022.57A-U. © Nervous System, inc. Image courtesy of Nervous System.

“Biophilia” is the term popularized by American biologist and author Edward O. Wilson to describe his theory that, as humans have evolved as a species, they have been intricately intertwined with the natural world. Wilson’s hypothesis invites deep reflection and poses relevant questions for audiences to consider life in our hyper-accelerated digital and urban-centric world. Organized by Darrin Alfred, Curator of Architecture and Design at DAM, Biophilia provides a space for leading architects, artists and designers to re-examine and reanimate our intrinsic bond with the natural world.

"Biophilia explores the human need to connect with the natural world and its ability to improve our health, spark the imagination, and strengthen personal and community relationships,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “Engaging visitors of all ages, Biophilia invites us to reflect on our innate bonds with nature through inspired works of architecture, art, and design that evoke the structures and phenomena found in the natural world.”

“This exhibition examines the myriad ways in which the human spirit is interwoven with the natural world and the power of creative practices to maintain and strengthen that connection,” said Alfred. “The works in Biophilia tap into our deeply embedded bond to our environment and its benefits to our minds and bodies.”

Biophilia is organized into three themes, based on the aspects of nature that most impact our well-being: Natural Analogs: Form and Pattern; Natural Systems: Processes and Phenomena; and Topophilia: People and Place.

Natural Analogs examines the simulation of naturally occurring shapes, sequences and patterns with varying degrees of abstraction. The reproduction of nature’s complex and nearly inexpressible geometries has become possible in new and efficient ways with advanced computational technologies. In this section of the exhibition, Nervous System design studio’s Floraform Chandelier takes its form from differential growth, taking inspiration from the ruffled edges of flowers. The hanging light was developed with generative algorithms and fabricated using an additive 3D-printing process. The Floraform Chandelier casts a dense forest of shadows, enveloping the viewer in an environment of algorithmically grown plant forms.

Sculpture carved out of tar and fiber made to resemble a desert plant

Aranda\Lasch and Terrol Dew Johnson, Desert Paper 09, 2022. Creosote and jute; 13 3/8 ×10 1/4 × 6 3/4 in. Denver Art Museum: Funds from Design Council of the Denver Art Museum, 2022.162. © Terrol Dew Johnson + Aranda\Lasch. Courtesy of Volume Gallery.

Natural Systems explores nature’s processes and phenomena, with a focus on seasonal and temporal changes. These works create meaningful, direct connections with the natural rhythms of life, particularly through movement and multi-sensory interactions. Meadow, by Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of DRIFT, is a kinetic installation that features colorful mechanical flowers suspended from above that open and close in an ever-changing choreography. Meadow’s rhythmic and perpetual motion captures our attention effortlesslyallowing the mind to relax and recover.

Topophilia considers the emotional connection between people and their physical environment. These works reflect a native ecology or landscape and convey a distinct sense of one’s culture or homeland.In a collaboration between Terrol Dew Johnson, a Tohono O’odham artist and basket weaver, and the New York and Tucson-based design studio Aranda\Lasch, the Desert Paper series celebrates the rich material history of the Sonoran Desert and the intricate relationships between the land, its resources, and the Indigenous communities that call it home.

Biophilia features work by Andreea Avram Rusu, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Nacho Carbonell, DRIFT, gt2P (great things to People), Simon Heijdens, J. MAYER H., Alexandra Kehayoglou, Joris Laarman, Mathieu Lehanneur, MAD Architects, Elena Manferdini, Nervous System, PELLE, Studio Gang, teamLab, threeASFOUR, Iris van Herpen, and David Wiseman, among others.

The exhibition is accompanied by a free digital publication with contributions by Florence Williams, a journalist and author; Cedar Sigo, a poet and member of the Suquamish Tribe; Kimberly Ruffin, Associate Professor of English at Roosevelt University and a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide; and Kit Bernal, Curatorial Assistant, Denver Art Museum. It will be available for download for free from the museum's website.

Biophilia: Nature Reimagined is organized by the Denver Art Museum. Support is provided by the donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the residents who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine and CBS Colorado.

Planning Your Visit

The most up-to-date information on planning a visit to the Denver Art Museum can be found online under the Plan Your Visit tab. Use this page to find details on ticket pricing, public transit options, and access information. General admission for museum members is free every day. Youth aged 18 and under, regardless of residency, receive free general admission everyday thanks to the museum’s Free for Kids program. Free for Kids also underwrites free admission for school and youth group visits.

About the Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its mission is to enrich lives by sparking creative thinking and expression. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Metro residents support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations.

For museum information, visit or call 720-865-5000.

Media Resources

Online Newsroom:

Media Contacts

Andy Sinclair/Press Office
Denver Art Museum