Collective Herbarium

Politecnico di Milano, 2022-2023

     Which traditions are still alive and which have been lost?    What has caused some traditions to be lost and others not?     Not only generational change, but also migration to cities by young people and climate change are causes of loss of mountain customs.

    Collective Herbarium is an interactive magazine that investigates the issues related to mountain life, its difficulties and its beauty. As well as the interconnected relationship between all its inhabitants: flora, fauna and man. Through a more playful and creative approach, the user is led to discover the wild plants found along the trail, as well as their traditional and present-day uses. 

What is the role of the environment in the development of a community? And what is the role of the community in protecting this same environment? What, consequently, are the interactions that arise between the two?

    The ultimate goal of the erbarium is to shed light on and safeguard these cultural and environmental heritages, throughout the discovery of wild plants present in the area. 

    The area chosen was the Stura Valley, which is also the author's place of origin, located in the western Italian Alps. In particular, it was chosen to investigate the plants found along the " Shepherd's Path/Sentiero della Pastorizia" a trail that runs along the south side of the mountain from the village of Pontebernardo to Sambuco, passing through the village of Pietraporzio and 8 other now uninhabited hamlets.

    In the herbarium, in addition to the plants, some businesses of the area that are involved in the processing of these plants are showcased. The goal is to show how the use of these plants has been transmitted from generation to generation, but also how their use has evolved over time.

    Each plant in the herbarium is accompanied by a small booklet where the user is led to discover some of the plant's properties through a more playful and creative approach, thanks to some different activities.