Petra Blahova is a graphic designer based in the United Kingdom, whose love of “screenprinting, yoga and drinking beer” makes me wonder if she shouldn’t move to Portland post-haste! And based on her “My Garden” series, we share at least one more thing in common: a love of botanical design. Petra has used plant materials including berries, flowers and leaves gathered from her neighborhood to create these frozen ice letters. I think I’ve seen this same concept used to freeze edible flowers into decorative ice cube garnishes for iced tea or summer cocktails. How cool would it be to combine the ideas to spell out a word in the punch bowl at your next garden party? Matt Mattus, I’m looking it you!
Well, gee whiz! I’m so stunned to see that Plant Propaganda had a cameo appearance during the iPhone 6 launch event earlier today. I couldn’t be happier, as I am a genuine fan of Apple products and have been holding out for the 6 for what seems like forever! The new iPhone not only makes it super simple to read your favorite blogs (like this one, of course), you can view and take photos of all the super crazy plants you want in higher resolution than ever before!
So, in honor of the iPhone 6’s super sleek, rounded and more organic new design, I’m sharing with you all the work of Japanese artist Macoto Muruyama. An architect-turned artist, Murayama is able to capture the intricate detail of a flower’s structure. Starting by first collecting and then dissecting specimens, Murayama carefully draws each plant organ by hand, then recreates them using 3D rendering software, cleans them up in Photoshop and annotates them in Illustrator. This careful de- and reconstruction of an organic object into a beautifully detailed technical drawing reminds me of the manner in which a truly beautiful product – like the iPhone, Eames chair or Nike Air Max 1 – comes to life while keeping in mind the natural needs of the user. And, really, aren’t flowers the ultimate in functional design, developed through trial and error, just like anything else, albeit over millenia rather than a few years? I think so.
The Koishi interactive planter is a concept from the mind of Maltese designer Noel Zahra. The pot monitors the plant’s activities via two wires clipped to its leaves. These signals are then transformed into an improvisational visual and auditory experience, unique to each plant.
The idea behind the Koishi planter is twofold. First, it aims to allow us to interact with plants in a manner more similar to the way in which we interact with other animals, by giving the plants a voice, so to speak. Second, it allows plants to play a more active role within our homes, more than just as passive air-fresheners.
Zahra posits that by allowing the plants to produce their own sounds and lights, they are finally able to give back to their human caretakers. I would argue that plants already give back to us in volumes, and that we, as humans, don’t make very gracious hosts. After all, the Earth’s plants are responsible for absorbing around 30% of all atmospheric carbon dioxide and provide, either directly or indirectly, almost 100% of all our food, and we are still clearcutting forests around the world.
I’m all for the idea of a “plant peace pot.” But maybe if we could let entire ecosystems be heard, we would all become better listeners.
Photos and video © Noel Zahra
Ted Feighan is a multitalented artist who might be better know by his music moniker, Monster Rally. His work has been described by listeners as “psycho-exotic pop-hop” and “productive music with a tropical feel”. Feighan channels that same sense of tiki bar zen into his two-dimensional artwork: most recently, a 36 page, full color collection of bright collages released as a limited edition zine called Flower Arrangements Vol. 1.
The zine’s publisher, Valley Cruise Press, has sold out: your best bet for getting your hands on one of these beautiful babies is through Feighan’s personal web store. And if you still manage to miss out, cross you’re fingers that there will be a Flower Arrangements Vol. 2.
Photos © Ted Feighan
In my last post I confessed that I become easily obsessed with things – all sorts of things. I’ll be sharing a lot of them with you over the next few days. In addition to fonts, I’ve developed a covetous fixation on screenprinted shirts. I used to be a no-T-shirt kind of gal: I thought they looked too casual and dressed down, and I’ve long been a hater of unflattering crewnecks (I’m a believer in “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”).
Lately, however, I’m in love with how straightforward and comfortable they are; even their boyish edge. And with all the awesome independent apparel companies out there printing their own kick-ass designs, T-shirts have become wearable art.
76 Garments is my latest T-shirt crush. Their products are American-made with a vintage aesthetic, pioneering spirit and hard-working ethos. From their website:
Truth leads to authenticity. We handcraft more, experiment more, and strip away veneers so that our designs are pure and potent. The results not only look good, they are good. These guiding principals owe much to historic American values, and are essential for creating the future you want for yourself. If you choose to wear one of our garments, please, Wear with Vigor.
I just stumbled across these guys, so I haven’t had a chance to purchase their entire collection yet. But with all of their shirts currently on sale, and free shipping on orders over $50, I’m sure to have added the following designs to my hoard before long.
To snag some of your own 76 Garments shwag, head over to their website.