Pink flowers on trees forefront the architecture courtyard.

UT Architecture School Examines Secret Life of Plants in International Symposium

  • Nov 19, 2021

Aleksandra Jaeschke, assistant professor of architecture and sustainable design at The University of Texas at Austin, recently organized a symposium as part of her Meadows Foundation Centennial Fellowship project titled Plant Potential. Curated by the Polish architect, the event series brought together a multidisciplinary group of experts exploring the intersections of botany, ecology, art, activism and sustainable design.  

“What future plant-human relations can we forge if we let ourselves be, once again, enchanted by plants?” Jaeschke asked. “... [W]e speculate with botanists, ecologists, gardeners, herbalists, chefs, artists, designers, and philosophers to replant seeds for a new way of thinking.” 

On Nov. 5, the virtual conference welcomed guests from around the world, each attuned to various aspects of plant potential. Panelists include Roth, creator of Azulik eco-resort and Sfer IK Museum in Tulum, Mexico, and Mae-ling Lokko, founder of Willow Technologies in Accra, Ghana, among many others. Video is available on YouTube of the participants' discussion and individual presentations.

"Nature wants to happen; all we have to do is guide it," said guest Ron Finley, an urban gardening activist working to improve food scarcity issues in disadvantaged areas that he describes as "food prisons," beginning with his home base in South Central Los Angeles. "This is so much more than food; it's about freedom and humanity."

This event was sponsored by the Center for American Architecture and Design at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. Read the full article from the School of Architecture.