plants

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Design Science

Unearth the Secrets of the Green Kingdom with the 'Plants' App from Tinybop

May 26, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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You might remember an awesome app mentioned here a few months ago from the creative team over at Tinybop called The Human Body. The educational app takes you deep inside the, erm, bowels of the human body using artwork from illustrator and designer Kelli Anderson. Less than a year later we get to see the latest addition to Tinybop’s Explorer’s Library series, Plants.

The educational title lets you explore two interactive dioramas (forest and desert) illustrated by Marie Caudry where you learn about the lifecycle of plants and how they interact with the rest of the world. Tundra and grassland biomes coming soon.

Tinybop also invited Anderson back in a partnership with Daniel Dunnam to create this paper stop motion short to promote Plants. Download the app here here. (via Colossal Swissmiss)

 

 



Design

Ultra Small Bonsai Plants Give New Meaning to the Word Miniature

May 19, 2014

Johnny Waldman

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What happens when you apply of love of small things to an art form that’s already all about small things? In recent years Bonsai—Japan’s art form of growing miniature trees in miniature planters—has undergone a miniaturization trend. Industry experts consider bonsai plants less than 3 cm (about 1 inch) to be particularly difficult, but artists have taken on the challenge, creating tiny plants and tiny planters that, literally, are at your fingertips. It’s given rise to a new category, known as cho-mini bonsai, or ultra-small bonsai.

It’s no secret that the Japanese excel at making things smaller, whether it’s automobiles, electronics or food. In fact, Japan’s love of small things can be found in literature dating back over a 1,000 years. When it comes to the land of the rising sun, it’s clear that beauty comes in small packages. (via Archie McPhee, RocketNews24)

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Design

OLED Dandelion Lights by Takao Inoue

May 12, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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These beautiful lights were designed by cinematographer Takao Inoue as part of a small exhibition on display at Milano Salone earlier this year. The lights are made from real dandelions that have been suspended inside an acrylic block with a miniature OLED light embedded within the stem. You can read more on Spoon & Tamago and catch a brief interview with the designer on Lost at E Minor. (via Spoon & Tamago)

Update: Oh, and here’s a video.

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History Photography Science

Artist Rachel Sussman Photographs the Oldest Living Things in the World before They Vanish

April 14, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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La Llareta (up to 3,000 years old; Atacama Desert, Chile)

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Spruce Gran Picea #0909 – 11A07 (9,550 years old; Fulufjället, Sweden)

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Welwitschia Mirabilis #0707-22411 (2,000 years old; Namib-Naukluft Desert, Namibia)

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Antarctic Moss #0212-7B33 (5,500 years old; Elephant Island, Antarctica)

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Jōmon Sugi, Japanese Cedar #0704-002 (2,180-7,000 years old; Yakushima, Japan

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Underground Forest #0707-10333 (13,000 years old; Pretoria South Africa) DECEASED

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Since 2004, Brooklyn-based contemporary artist Rachel Sussman has researched, collaborated with biologists, and braved some of the world’s harshest climates from Antarctica to the Mojave Desert in order to photograph the oldest continuously living organisms on Earth. This includes plants like Pando, the “Trembling Giant,” a colony of aspens in Utah with a massive underground root system estimated to be around 80,000 years old. Or the dense Llareta plants in South America that grow 1.5 centimeters annually and live over 3,000 years. This is the realm of life where time is measured in millennia, and where despite such astonishing longevity, ecosystems are now threatened due to climate change and human encroachment.

Sussman’s photographs have now been gathered together for the first time in The Oldest Living Things in the World, a new book published by the University of Chicago Press. Sitting at the intersection of art, science, and travelogue, the book details her adventures in tracking down each subject and relays the valuable scientific work done by scientists to understand them. It includes 124 photographs, 30 essays, infographics and forewords by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Carl Zimmer.

You can learn more about Sussman’s project in her 2010 TED Talk. (via Hyperallergic)

Update: Rachel Sussman was just named a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow.

 

 



Design Food

DIY House Plant Cupcakes

March 5, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Apropos of I’m on a diet and am also a masochist, Brooklyn-based baker Alana Jones-Mann has a sweet DIY article on how to make cupcakes that look like common miniature cacti. It turns out all you need is mass quantities of tasty, tasty frosting (because why does anyone eat a cupcake anyway), green food coloring, and an unreasonable amount of baking talent. If you liked this, you might also like cakes that look like planets. (via Neatorama, Blazenfluff)

 

 



Design

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping

January 15, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Forest Scent, Pavel Bautin. Russia. 2010 IAPLC Grand Prize Winner

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Pale Wind, Takayuki Fukada. Japan. 2013 IAPLC Gold Prize

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Whisper of the pines, Serkan Çetinkol. Turkey. 2013 IAPLC Top 27

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Verve!, Chow Wai Sun. Hong Kong. 2011 IAPLC Bronze Prize

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Way to heaven, Dmitriy Parshin. Russia.

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Wild West, Stjepan Erdeljić. Croatia.

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Georgi Chaushev, Bulgaria. 2012 IAPLC Top 100.

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Francisco Wu, Spain. 2012 IAPLC Top 100.

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Long Tran Hoang, Vietnam. 2012 IAPLC Third Place.

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Pilgrimage, Shintaro Matsui. Japan. 2013 IAPLC Fifth Place.

No, these aren’t exactly your childhood goldfish bowls. The world of competitive aquarium design, or aquascaping, is just as difficult, expensive, and cutthroat as any other sport but requires expertise in many different fields to guarantee success. Aquarium designers possess large amounts of expertise in biology, design, photography, and excel in the art of patience, as individual aquascapes can take months if not years to fully mature into a completed landscape.

The world’s largest nature aquarium and aquatic plants layout competition is the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) which annually ranks hundreds of competitors from around the world with Asian and Eastern European countries generally dominating the top slots. While it’s somewhat difficult to track down galleries of winners from every year, above are some amazing entries from the last few years. To see more, oh so much more, check out: IAPLC Grand Prize Works, IAPLC 2013 Top 6, IAPLC 2012 Top 200 (or here), and the first Eastern European Planted Aquarium Design Contest.