The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
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Inside Out
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marking place

temporary art installations


Student work at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

NRE 587, Professor Beth Diamond and Rachel Visscher, Graduate Student Instructor
School of Natural Resources & Environment, Landscape Architecture Program
University of Michigan
October 7-13, 2012

Students in Professor Beth Diamond’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, Landscape Architecture class NRE 587—“Landscape as Environmental Media”—have created a series of installations at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The class projects will be on display through Saturday, Oct. 13.

The installations are inspired by the ecosystems, the processes of nature, and the flora found at Matthaei.

We invite you to visit the Gardens this week to view this very special student artwork. Scale models of all five installations with accompanying interpretation are on display in the west lobby at Matthaei.

Click here for a map of the installations.

Click here for a photo gallery of a selection of the installations.

Pods is a tribute to the common milkweed. Its shape and arrangement evoke the milkweed pod’s unusual form and highlights a roadside ridge in a restored prairie in the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. For many Michiganders these iconic milkweed pods symbolize our native ecology and the changing of the seasons.
Students: Lizzy Baskerville, Amy Motzny, Sam Sikanas, Lauren Yelen

Embedded Life Brightly colored spheres rise from the meadow, representing the life that exists below the ordinary line of vision. Trails and a nest within the grass also allow visitors to witness the diverse and interconnected life forms in their natural, embedded realm.
Students: Sarah Brey, Li Chen, Sarah Clark, Chang Yan

Inside Out expands upon the natural rooms provided by the planting design of the existing site; repeating parallel lines of surveyor’s tape create walls beneath the canopies of trees and ceilings over beds of grass, encouraging the idea of bringing indoor elements outside.
Students: Dan Buckley, Emily Gehle, Sydney Johnson Robert Primeau, Nolan Sandberg

Erosion Unraveled represents the history and impact of this natural process on the southern end of Fleming Creek. The gradual disassembly of spiral sculptures along Sam Graham Trail and into Fleming Creek conjures images of the interaction between land and water during erosion.
Students: Oren Brandvain, Robert Cabral, Fei Dong, Jenny Hebert, Ying Li

Leafy Paths is inspired by the path that leaves and seeds take as they fall to the water in autumn. Concentric circles symbolize the ripples that leaves and seeds create when they make contact with water. The spiraling form from tree to water represents the path that leaves and some seeds may take from their plant of origin down to the water to be carried away.
Students: Chen Lu, Lumin Wang, Angela Cesere, Peter Widin


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