Vatra Verde

Romania will bring visitors closer to nature and encourage them to contemplate humanity’s legacy on our planet. ‘Vatra Verde’ (translating to Green Hearth) offers a multifaceted area for relaxation and discussion where visitors can meditate, exchange ideas, play, listen to plant sounds to encourage communication and collaboration for innovation.

‘Vatra Verde’ (translating to Green Hearth) emphasises that humanity needs collaboration to thrive and mitigate the climate and conflict crises, while being aware that collaboration itself is a complex process, involving change in attitudes, behaviour, mindsets. The Romanian pavilion strives to provide an opportunity to bring about this change.

The team behind the Romanian Pavilion draws inspiration from nature and reinterprets collaboration and interaction among natural systems by creating a hive model made of recycled materials. Through recycled art, ‘Vatra Verde’ wants to raise awareness of the importance of a circular economy and regenerative practices, by showcasing collaboration within systems and among systems aided by the transformative power of innovation in design. The artistic concept is anchored in principles of complex systems theory. It’s common knowledge that life is about relationships and interconnectedness, and we understand that in nature everything is cyclical.

Using a variety of recycling techniques, the team repurposed several types of waste (paper, leather powder, plastic, metal, etc.) into a multidisciplinary interactive installation, reminiscent of Brancusi's "Table of Silence" and its symbolism. The seating area is organised around a ‘live’ installation, crafted from recycled paper and recycled cereal husks, and bonded together with mycelium-based biodegradable glue. The exhibition harnesses the power of mycelium to grow our materials using organic and synthetic substrates that are the by-products or 'wastes' of other industries. This manufacturing process has a positive impact on the environment as it is completely regenerative.

To create an inclusive acoustic experience, the visitors will hear sounds and vibrations of the plants grown in the installation through the “Music of the plants” technology. The electricity needed for this will be generated on site, as visitors will be invited to play with the central piece through kinetic interactions. By superposing acoustic and kinetic layers of interaction, ‘Vatra Verde’ depicts the world as a busy and noisy hive, full of distracting elements and stimuli, that might hinder collaboration. The visitor is left pondering about the role of convergence and positive feedback loops, in a world where collaboration is still vital despite system complexity.

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Cristina Cantemir

Art Mirror

Cristina Maria Pop

Art Mirror

Loana Vultur

Simplo Design


George Ciprian Mihnea

Cluj-Napoca University of Art and Design

Kinetic interaction:

Radu Nicu


Innovative materials:

Gabriel Barta


Concept and Sustainability Consultant:

Alina Vasile-Floroaie

Dare Strategy Ltd

Supporting Bodies:

Cluj Napoca City Hall

Romanian Ministry of Culture

ICR London

2023 Exhibitors