Medicine Factory

Medicine Factory is an accessible art project by Circus Engelbregt in which health, responsibility, social cohesion and concern for nature and environment meet in a work setting. Medicine Factory is a workshop that is open to the public, where people are given access to the healing powers of nature to make their own medicine based on their personal ailments.

We set up the laboratory from 2013 to 2015, in places such as the Amstelpark in Amsterdam, Sonsbeekpark in Arnhem, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam and in Eindhoven for the Dutch Design Week. We also set up the Travelling Medicine Factory in 2014. The Medicine Factory was nominated for the Dutch Design Award and selected for the Elisabeth van Thüringen Prize. For more information, visit the Medicine Factory website.

Plant experts: Rascha Wisse, Jeanine Verhagen, Malika Cieremans
Business Manager in Arnhem: Bjorn Jansen (Lijn5 producties)

The Medicine Factory was set up in the Amstelpark, Amsterdam, and the Sonsbeekpark, Arnhem, in the summers of 2013 and 2014. During workshops the visitors picked plants according to their own ailments and processed them into medicine. The pavilion was turned into a laboratory with all the relevant and necessary tools of the trade, such as centrifuges, industrial ovens, food weighing scales, pipettes and microscopes. Participants were invited to make a new connection to healing and edible vegetation in the city and to recognize what is and is not good for them.

A disconnect has formed between people and the nature that surrounds them. People still go to parks for peace and quiet, or to look, but they find it more and more difficult to use nature directly to combat physical or mental ailments. Sometimes people are even afraid of nature, or they think it’s dirty, while one study after the other shows that living and experiencing nature contributes to a healthy life.