An immersive environment of living plants
7/31/2012 7:00 AM
Metropolis is a “personal biosphere” in which multiple people have an up-close experience of a landscape of native Pacific Northwest plants, as if a section of local forest floor was transported to the interior of the city.
Looking back at the futuristic hopefulness that marked the original World’s Fair in Seattle, the ideas of the future that marked that period may seem naïve and misplaced given our current ecological crisis. At the same time, this sense of possibility is still very much present in our contemporary city. I intend for this piece to raise conversation about the theme of illuminating challenges and imagining possibilities in a whimsical and poetic way. By placing your head inside the “Metropolis" personal biosphere, you come into contact with the lush environment that typifies the Pacific Northwest, while in the midst of the city. The piece both raises questions about our distance from the natural world, our need to control and contain it, while at the same time pointing to a more hopeful possibility, a scenario in which the form of the city and a landscape of plants are completely interdependent. Within this microcosm, plants and humans share air and exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide, bringing us face to face with both the challenge and the opportunity presented by our relationship to the land.