AIA Event at Flora Grubb Gardens

Last Friday I attended an event at Flora Grubb Gardens sponsored by the American Institute of Architechture.  Bonnie Bridges and Seth Boor of Boor Bridges Architecture , along with Flora Grubb led a workshop encouraging designers and architects to be willing to view designing with plants as an opportunity to interact with the natural world--and its accompanying dynamism and unpredictability : to think "Beyond Equisetum."  

I appreciated Flora pointing out that often the reason that many architects want Equisetum is because they view it as predicable, architectural, clean, but when poorly sited (and when it's being used constantly, it's hard to imagine that it's always being properly sited) it can be unruly, invasive ratty, etc--a lot of the features that architects wanted to eschew.  A good reason to work with a designer is that he or she should be able to interpret the desire for something "clean", "restful", "subtle" by drawing from a broad universe of plants and materials in his or her repertoire.  The end design should achieve the desired effect, but the designer is able to imagine and source possibilities that might have never otherwise been considered.  The other big point to drive home is that plants are plants--not buidings--and although they "furnish" outdoor space, they do so organically and dynamically.  Don't expect them to be static and "behave"--it's a recipe for disappointment.

So, the really fun part was that we broke up into teams based on design styles we're least comfortable working in and had a quick 30 min charrette (using anything we could move in the nursery!) to come up with a vignette.  Each team came up with a concept and worked to put together a cohesive display.  I wish I'd taken more pictures, but I worked with 3 talented ladies and here's what we put together.


  1. Oh, even though in LA I had this event marked on my calendar. Love the phrase "Beyond Equisetum." Sounds like a productive workshop just looking at that gorgeous haul from your charrette!


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