Friday, January 6, 2012

Shapes from a Green Tunnel

When you look at plants at first you think they’re all alike. My first botany mentor, Alix Wennekens, who I met in Alaska, said that before she became a botanist she went through the world as if through a green tunnel.

Ancient sunken road

As you look at plants more you come to see their many differences, size, shape, color, texture, ecology, etc.

Aloe leaves


After a long time of observing, analyzing, and interpreting plants using the model of evolutionary biology as a focus you tend to see their similarities all over again.


Tulip Tree

As a botanist you get to see so many living shapes. Each one is dynamic, reflecting the growth and development of something breathing and alive. When you start to think that these shapes are laid down according to a genetic plan, one cell after the other, it’s pretty amazing. That’s the biological standpoint. From the perspective of design, what kind of inspiration can we draw from these shapes?


Lichen surface


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