At the beginning of the new millennium we are confronted with elementary challenges in culture, science and society. When far-reaching structural changes are necessary it means accepting the responsibility that any kind of measures taken will also affect future generations. Viewed from a systemic standpoint, the only viable “solutions” are sustainable ones. Sustainability, to put it in a nutshell, is the biggest challenge of our times: to create societies with sustainable economic development, social, ecological and cultural milieus in which we can fulfil our needs and achieve our goals without compromising the opportunities of future generations.
The knowledge and expertise in art are essential to this process.
Growth is a key term both for this art project and for our society. Unfortunately, industrial modernity reduced the principle of growth to that of economic growth. Growth is commonly understood as an infinite, linear, quantitative process of accumulation.
The maxim “faster, higher, further, more” has encompassed the globe even although the legendary report “The Limits to Growth” of the 1970s (!) already made us aware that such growth is not compatible with the biophysical limits of our planet. In the final analysis it is a pathological malignant proliferation leading to collapse - ecologically, economically, psychologically and socially.
Growth in the natural world is never linear. Otherwise we human beings would be about seven metres tall at the end of our lives. Growth in the realm of the living always encompasses maturing and transforming.
Therefore the Growing Sculpture Heiligengeist School Lüneburg asks: What kind of growth do we need? Is it possible to re-explore the notion of growth for people and nature, beyond the constrictions of economic growth? How can a school better become a place for human beings - children and adults - to thrive sustainably? And finally: isn’t the transformation towards a sustainable school and society essentially a creative challenge for all of us?