The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 & now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. http://www.nybg.org/
A William Morris tapestry incorporating grapevines and cabbages. To the Ancient Greeks this was an unthinkable combination- didn’t everybody know that vines and cabbages hated each other? (Which, incidentally, is why cabbage was recommended by many classical authors as a cure or a preventative for hangovers!) In fact, many plants were supposed to either harbour sympathetic or antipathetic feelings towards each other.
This afternoon I went to a seminar at the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science about the anthropomorphising of the vegetable kingdom in classical natural philosophy and literature. Of particular interest to me was the discussion of treatments of pollination events by Greek and Roman authors, who often described the reproductive processes of plants- whilst not comprehending the details- in terms of lovesick yearning followed by romantic fulfilment.
I knew none of this before reading this and I am a better person for having read it! ~AR
midtown icons is where we honor the people and places that make midtown the cultural destination of new york city that it is today. we are proud to be a part of the modern midtown landscape.
who: frederick law olmsted—the original landscape architect, journalist, social critic, visionary and one stylish dude
chief contribution: olmsted and his partner, calvert vaux, were instrumental in the planning and development of central park, the first landscaped park in the u.s. olmsted’s conviction to create truly democratic “public spaces” that could be enjoyed by all people, was a relatively new conceit in 1858. it also contributed to the creation of over 35 parks and green spaces throughout the country including prospect park in brooklyn. olmsted’s vision for social reform through green space was to alleviate the pressures of industrialization and provide a bucolic reprieve for the city’s poorest, as well as a refuge from urban life for the wealthy. central park, like many of olmsted and vaux’s creations, is a space that continues to transform with the energy of the city and its people.
Olmsted’s legacy can be found all over New York, including our own Garden. But even if he weren’t the city’s preeminent landscape designer of the past century and a half, he’d still be a rad fashion icon. —MN
Highly detailed blueprints of various flowers that have been digitally rendered from meticulously studied specimens that have been dissected by hand.
Maybe it’s a daydream for our scientists, seeing plants so cleanly dissected, labeled, and color-coded. Of course, plant science is seldom a white room undertaking; just ask our scientists in the field!
The subtle genius of Piet Oudolf’s landscape design can be seen along the High Line, in Battery Park, and even touches the Seasonal Walk of The New York Botanical Garden. But abroad, he’s even more prolific with his mingling of form and, contrastingly, the lack of it. Now in an artistic partnership with renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, the monkish duo is taking on a challenge that will require an intense commitment of complementary talents: a 40-loft industrial living space replete with gardens, greenhouses, and growing things. Click through for the story of this lauded designer; we have a crush on him with good reason. —MN
For flowers that are so naturally elegant, domestic orchids are seriously design-challenged. Not the blooms themselves, of course—it’s that unsightly but ubiquitous stick-and-teensy-hair-clip combo that keeps the stems standing tall.
Yeonju Yang, half of London-based studio Yang:Ripol, had been regularly tending to these particular blossoms for almost five years before reaching a kind of creative epiphany.
“It’s funny how sometimes things stare at you in the face for so long until the designer mind clicks in and you realize—here is actually a problem which needs resolving,” he tells Co.Design.
Notice the bevy of green architectural concepts floating around the internet? I don’t mean the office building proposals with low carbon footprints, or novel approaches to solar farms. I’m talking about literal green concepts—bringing the bounty of the farm to urban landscapes.
Flavorwire has put together a stack of innovative and inspiring “plant buildings,” all with one thing in common: they’re taking after Patrick Blanc in a big way. Thanks to the French botanist’s Orchid Show designs here at the NYBG, New Yorkers are getting a taste of his creative ambition. The Green Man’s vertical gardens, or mur végétal, have directly or indirectly inspired everything from skyscraper farms to edible restaurants, and the author phrases Blanc’s legacy succinctly.
" … Our favorite green-haired botanist has helped to usher in the post-industrial era’s successor—a new design epoch that we think should be classified as The Age of the Plant."
Click through for a few of the more daring ideas being courted in countries around the world. —MN
When I think “graffiti,” I think clandestine night excursions to highway overpasses and rooftop water tanks, tagging architecture with borderline-unintelligible street handles. Of course, there’s the other side of the coin—5 Pointz in Queens, for example, which is about as close to literal as the phrase “art house” comes (still can’t believe they’re demolishing it in 2013).
And then there’s Anna Garforth’s work.
Her environmentally friendly moss wall art has drawn praise as it pops up across the globe. Now all she needs to do is figure out how to streamline the process by inventing living moss in a spray can. —MN