Elkebana is a portmanteau of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, and elk, the animal with the big antlers that people like to kill and stuff and put on exhibit. It’s also a very clever name for a very clever product. Twin vases mounted on wood let you display blossoms like others display heads—hanging from the wall, living (though soon to be dead). I love this. Ordering info is here. It would also be a pretty simple DIY, but kudos to designers Fabio Milito & Paula Studio for coming up with such a rad concept.
Speaking of plants, let’s drink some…
I think plants are just on my mind this week, seeing as it’s early spring and all. I spotted my first crocuses today when I was at a meeting up in Wiscasset today and I gave a tiny shout. My co-worker thought I dropped my coffee, but I was really just excited about FINALLY seeing a little flora in Maine.
I’m rambling a bit, and it’s probably because I’ve had a few glasses of wine, and while that didn’t exactly inspire me to post about Amy Stewart’s very cool sounding book, it does seem fitting, right? As I type this, I’m sipping at my own glass of alcohol and contemplating the grapes that made it, and all the many fruits and leaves and grains that go into a truly fantastic cocktail. In The Drunken Botanist, Stewart chronicles the vast variety of plant life that has been transformed by our greedy hands into creative libations and delicious intoxications.
Oh, and because I can’t not mention this fact, it’s a beautiful book with truly awesome typography. I should probably buy it for my boyfriend, who could frequently be described as a drunken botanist (when he’s not busy being a “mad scientist”).
Learn more here.
Two cool things: Green architecture, plant emotions.
1. Plant-In City. I’ll let their description do the talking:
Mankind is increasingly leaving nature behind, migrating to concrete jungles where green space is at a premium. Yet urban dwellers will always long for a connection to the earth: we build parks, protect nature reserves, and grow gardens. We’ve become adept at shaping nature to fit our multiple spaces and lifestyles.
Plant-in City is a collaboration between architects, designers, and technologists who are building new ways of interacting with nature. Our 21st century sculptural terrariums combine modular architecture, basic laws of physics, embedded technologies, and mobile computing to construct a “Plant City” where the aesthetic meets the pragmatic.
2. Do plants have emotions? We were discussing this at work the other day, and while my first inclination was to be really skeptical, I’ve been a little swayed. No, I don’t think weeping willows actually need Prozac, just that maybe there’s something these living creatures pick up on that is kind of, maybe a little, like our empathy. Further reading can be found on NYT.com, but this is one of those weird moments when I don’t want to know too much more. According to some people, plants react when living things are killed. Perhaps it’s true, perhaps it’s not, but I rather like that idea and for now, I would like it to be so.
I think this must be how people in Iceland “believe” in fairies. According to one article, 80% of Icelanders think fairies are real. Maybe they do, or maybe 80% of the country just has a more whimsical outlook on life than we do. Either way, I want to go to Iceland and see some freaking fairies.