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Carl von Linné or the art of looking

Monumental artwork on ecological matters, rights and duties of human beings for the Universitet Subway Station in Stockholm

30 November 2020
Year :
Location :
Universitet Station, Stockholm

CARL VON LINNÉ OR THE ART OF LOOKING is a monumental work created for the Stockholm University subway station. This artwork connects Carl von Linné’s work with our world’s ecological condition, human rights, and duties towards the earth.

Due to its location near the entrance of the City University, this artwork is dedicated to one of the greatest Swedish intellectuals of the 18th century, the botanist Carl von Linné. Linné was a scientist, but also a humanist and a writer-poet. He invented the plant classification system, a system that is still in use today.

The station’s artwork consists of 14 different sections: including 2 human rights walls 180 m long and 12 panels 12 to 16 m long that analyze areas concerned by global ecology. All of these panels express the threat facing the Earth.

Made entirely of hand-painted ceramics, the artworks follow a creative protocol based on two books: Linnaeus’ journey to Lapland (1732) and an encyclopedia of nature. This allows us to link the site to the universe, history and current events. The Lapland journey became a metaphor for a broader understanding of global ecological reality.

Artist Françoise Schein and her team used Linneau’s original hieroglyphics system and many book references to create a legacy artwork, which is the core of current global attention in the 21st century.

It was in the process of creating this artwork with a team young people who had dropped out of school, that F. Schein realized that her work has teaching potential not only in purpose but also during their production. Future participatory projects around the world confirmed this and enabled a large number of young people from underprivileged backgrounds to participate in large-scale urban projects.


Françoise Schein, artist
Maria Joao Ribeiro, graphic designer and painter
Barbara Reiter, philosopher
Assistants : Graça Moncada, Wanyr Macedo Junior,Maria José Oliveira, Mathilde, Caroline Duchatelet, José Manuel Tomas, Kalle Fridén, Rolf Nilson from studio 1.11, Peter Fridén, Putte Rüpinen,Matti Toivola, Taisto Rüpinen


Kjell Werner, subway engineer
Viúva lamego, azulejos factory, Lisbon


SL Fastigheter, métro de Stockholm


Françoise Schein
Barbara Reiter