Ethan Bodnar

Designer and Gardener. Previously, at Skillshare.

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15

Design & Nature

Questions you want to explore, that make you curious...

Over the holiday break I came across a trailer and article on the New York Times T Magazine for an upcoming documentary about the legendary dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf. After watching the trailer, in my head I said to myself, "I want to do that." And so I set off to figure out how it all works. How can I start doing more with plants?

Relevant facts and historical examples, that gave you strength...

While I don't know Piet Oudolf personally, I've been doing research on his projects and reading some of his writing to better understand what this is all about. (He's best known these days for designing the gardens of The Highline here in New York) I'm realizing it sorta all makes sense for me. I remember a time when I was younger and my dad described the geometry, form, and colors that he found in plants when creating our own gardens at home. And now, living in Brooklyn, my apartment is filled with different types of plants.

Discoveries you hope to find, or have made...

  • Piet brought plants and nature to public spaces, more than just the backyard or prairie.
  • One of the guests in the documentary said, "He plants as an artist paints" and I was really drawn to that notion.
  • He's designing in the dimension of time, how the gardens change, how they thrive, and how they die with the seasons.

My next step...

So while I'm pretty happy where I'm at now, don't want to go back to school for years to study landscape design, nor I'm not ready to design the next Highline – I did make a list of some smaller next steps that I can take on my side.

Two of my favorites are:

  1. Start a Tumblr blog about "clothes for your plants" that would highlight artistic and new types of ceramic containers for your plants. A lot of my friends in college focused on ceramics and so I'm interested in learning more about this in relation to plants.
  2. And the other idea is to teach a Skillshare class on indoor plants, to share what I know and what I've learned so far in my own apartment :)

Highline photo via oudolf.com/garden/highline / Photo of sketches from trailer

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