Since its foundation in Frankfurt in 1817, the "Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung" has pursued two goals: Research and mediation. Today, in a globalised world of crises, this is more necessary than ever to find answers to climate change, species extinction, food and resource shortages. Senckenberg conducts interdisciplinary earth system research to integratively understand our planet and communicate it to the public. Since 2014, Senckenberg has been awarding prizes for commitment to nature and for natural research. The award is given to personalities who have distinguished themselves either through a special commitment to the conservation of biodiversity or through outstanding research.
Jury member: Julia Krohmer, Simone Loewen, Prof. Dr. Andreas Mulch, Heike Spiller, Merja Herzog-Hellstén, Prof. Klaus Hesse
In the winter semester 2018/19, the Senckenberg Society launched a design competition for students of the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach/M to give this prize a face. The aim was to develop a prize sculpture that expresses the goals of the Senckenberg Society. The course and competition were held in the ceramics workshop of the HfG Offenbach by Merja Herzog-Hellstén and Klaus Hesse. With a few exceptions, the students worked with ceramic materials. Clay and porcelain were imposed because they are easily malleable when not fired and are subject to the laws of gravity when liquid. In addition, these substances are extracted naturally from the earth. In the fired state, these materials manifest unchangeable artistic interpretations or densifications as long-lived sculptures. Although the students worked closely together, the considerations and strategies as well as the results are hardly comparable. Despite all their differences, each of these contributions radiates a high sensuality, significance and an ambiguous context to biodiversity. Many thanks also to our HfG colleagues Volker Steinbacher, Sven Dorn, Dieter Fritzsche and Prof. Werner Lorke for their technical support.