LEVEL GREEN // The Concept of Sustainability is an exhibition that examines three aspects of sustainability – the environment, society and the economy – and brings the everyday interaction between these components together in an artistic installation. The exhibition aims to reveal the various aspects of the topic while creating an information environment that addresses the visitor on different sensual levels. The design displays the content in an interactive and playful way, stimulating the visitor’s curiosity about the subject matter. The visitor can actually become and active participant and is encouraged to discover the areas of the exhibition.
The 1000 square meter installation with the 25 exhibitions which run simultaneously is inspired by the PET green recycling symbol. The three arrows which form the symbol act as the starting point; and create a net-like structure similar to a sculpture, which draws the content of the exhibition into an integral whole. The arrows reflect the aspects to sustainability which are intermingled and seem infinite. The installation was constructed by MDF of varying thickness, with maximum usage of CO2, neutral and recycled materials for a sustainable environment. The implemented lacquering of the modules was of the same high standard quality as the one used in the production of Volkswagen vehicles. Necessary technical installations are also incorporated into the design and appear only in the abstract form such as glowing lines or painted covers.
According to J. Mayer H. Architects, the architectural design of LEVEL GREEN takes the various interdependencies of the topic as a starting point and translates this quality into the metaphor of the web. Comparable to a infinite organism, the single elements of the exhibition are connected into one homogenous structure that houses all content and technical installations. The dramaturgy of the exhibition is not determined by a linear approach but one of nonlinear logics, opening the space for a more ambiguous experience. Vertical Elements define different areas within the exhibition without strictly separating them, allowing the visitor’s experience to be carried by the idea of playful discovery.
Sustainability for Volkswagen is a core value and a long-term policy; the exhibition LEVEL GREEN demonstrates this specific approach. The crucial points in this area are sustainable mobility and responsibility: presented in this area are drive-train and energy strategies, car life-cycle assessment and research into traffic congestion. LEVEL GREEN argues for scientific research and the use of latest technological development as necessities for survival in the future. This point of view is represented as an atmospheric environment, in which physical and digital spaces complement each other, creating one common narrative.
In this context the offices of J. Mayer H. Architects and Art+Com Berlin were commissioned for the execution of this permanent exhibition. J. MAYER H. Architects is based in Berlin, Germany and has been operating since 1996. It focuses on works at the intersection of architecture, communication and new technology. From urban planning schemes and buildings to installation work and objects with new materials, the relationship between the human body, technology and nature form the background for a new production of space.
Jürgen Mayer H. is founder and principal of this crossdisciplinairy studio; he studied at Stuttgart University, The Cooper Union and Princeton University. His work was published and exhibited worldwide and is part of international collections like the MoMA New York and San Francisco. His work has been awarded with numerous prizes; the Mies-van-der-Rohe-Award 2003 Emerging Architect and Winner Holcim Awards 2005 Bronze Europe for Metropol Parasol. Jürgen Mayer H. has taught at Princeton University, University of the Arts Berlin, Harvard University, Kunsthochschule Berlin, the Architectural Association in London and is currently teaching at Columbia University in New York.