Invasive Plants Club

The Invasive Plants Club works with invasive species that are subject to seasonal removal in the Camargue region and southeastern France. To mitigate their destruction, Atelier LUMA explores their qualities and properties and integrates them into responsible production processes.

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Working with communities to approach invasive plants as renewable resources, and sow the seeds of a new local culture.

The Invasive Plants Club focuses on exotic invasive species that are classified as such at the European level. Introduced by climate change and globalization into regions where they didn’t originally grow, these plants spread within their new ecosystems and can pose dangers to the environment. To limit their growth, the various structures charged with managing these areas carry out preventative and remedial measures, primarily removal and destruction campaigns.

The Invasive Plants Club designers began their research by mapping the invasive plants species in the region, in partnership with local botanists. Agave, Japanese knotweed, pampas grass, Rumex crispus (curly dock), Amorpha fruticosa (false indigo-bush), Baccharis, tree of heaven, creeping water primrose, and prickly pear can be found in the various biotopes of the Camargue region, the Cévennes mountains, and the Marseille Calanques.

The cycle of invasive plant growth and removal resembles the production of renewable raw materials. To avoid simply destroying this biomass, the Invasive Plants Club approaches the plants as available resources that can be repurposed, while taking into account their unpredictable, uncontrolled, and seasonal nature.

In collaboration with work integration programs that manage some plant removal campaigns, the designers develop projects that take into account the variation in availability and quantity of these raw materials.

Atelier LUMA and its partners analyzed and identified the properties of each invasive plant in their laboratories. Leaves are used for colorants in dyes, while trunks and stems are used to make composites similar to wood. Agave pulp is used as an adhesive, and its fibers for making cords and ropes. Finally, leftover plant material is used as substrate in the Myco Structure project, and for biopolymer research in the Bio Flash project.

In the workshops of craftspeople and designers, these materials are transformed for use in the production of textiles, objects, and furnishings. Designers extract colorants for textile dyes from Japanese knotweed, Rumex crispus (curly dock), Amorpha fruticosa (false indigo-bush), giant cane, Baccharis, and tree of heaven, and continue this research as part of the Color Geographies project.

Project team

  • Atelier LUMA

    Arles, France


    La Grand-Combe, France

  • Tour du Valat

    Arles, France

  • Marais du Viguerat


    Marseille, France

  • Parc National des Calanques

    Marseille, France

  • Office Français de la Biodiversité

    Grandes Cabanes du Vaccarès Sud, France

  • Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue

    Arles, France

  • EPTB Gardons

    Nîmes, France

  • Project LIFE Habitats Calanques

    Marseille, France

  • Agromat

    Tarbes, France

  • CBN Méditerranéen de Porquerolles

    Hyères, France

  • Réserve Naturelle Nationale de Camargue

    La Capelière, France

  • Syndicat Mixte Camargue Gardoise

    Vauvert, France


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