美国加州“种子银行”装置设计 | Miridae
“Where some companies signal sustainability with a green wall, the Seed Bank represents an effort to create a new kind of living wall that encourages interaction, engagement, and eventual plant dispersal through low-tech means. While many flora rely on wind, gravity, or fauna for propagation, this display distributes seeds in a more direct-to-cultivator manner. A seed bar provides visitors with clearly presented graphics as well as information and seeds that they can then take back to their respective landscapes to sow, allowing the Seed Bank to extend into and restore the landscape in which it resides.”
– 2020 Awards Jury
Our project began with a call for a “living wall” from a prominent national construction company moving their regional headquarters to Downtown Sacramento. They wanted a living wall that was sustainable, provided a sense of location, and required little maintenance. We wanted to create something that motivated the company to use habitat-crucial native plants in their construction projects and that would highlight the beauty and the benefits of these often-overlooked species.
Thus, we decided to pursue a different concept for this living wall, one we have titled, the Seed Bank. Challenging the design standard that highlights the leaves, stems, and flowers we typically associate with plants, the Seed Bank uses dormant, live seeds of important California native species to highlight the unseen elements of these plants and to organize them in a spatially-explicit way that ties the local species to their natural and potential distributions.
▲打造绿墙的新方式：种子银行挑战了传统绿墙的形式和观感，提出用休眠中的本地植物种子来打造生态墙。这一概念为客户赋予了支持本地栖息地建设的新使命。A New Approach to the Living Wall: The Seed Bank challenges the look and feel of the traditional “green” living wall and instead proposes a living wall of dormant native plant seeds. This concept arms the client with a new mission to support native habitat. ©Kai Skye
项目团队的目标并不仅仅是创造出一个美观且维护成本低的装置，更要通过这一创造来对公司的决策产生积极的影响，为员工与合作伙伴赋予动力、语言、知识和资源，从而更好地将以栖息地为关注点的当地景观融入他们自己的项目当中。为了实现这一目标，团队还创建了一个互动式的种子吧台（Seed Bar）和种子地图（Seed Map），它们能够在阐明这些物种的重要性的同时，将种子切实地送到人们手中，并教会他们种植方法和种植位置的选择。
The Seed Bank has a literal function as well as an inspirational and educational one. In its most basic form, it is an actual seed bank: it stores seeds through time and preserves their genetic diversity in case they become rare or extinct in the wild. And it is living! The seeds are not dead, but rather vessels through which plants travel through time. Our Seed Bank concept is a more sustainable approach to the typical living wall, which is inherently resource-intensive in the water, energy, and maintenance required.
Our goal for the Seed Bank was not just to create a beautiful and low-maintenance installation, but also something that would positively influence decisions made by an impactful building company, arming its employees and partners with the motivation, language, knowledge, and resources to incorporate habitat-focused native landscapes into their projects. To achieve this, we also created an interactive Seed Bar and Seed Map that literally put seeds into people’s hands while explaining the importance of the species featured in the Seed Bank and how and where they should be planted.
Through the story of these native seeds, the Seed Bank taps into larger conversations about the importance of native plants in providing ecological resilience in our communities. It reinterprets the definition of a living wall and encourages us to shift our mindsets to promote this alternative, more sustainable vision.
▲社交的中心：种子银行被设置在客户的公司总部、一栋创新性大型木构建筑的社交中心，它鼓励每一位访客参与其中，使他们了解到本地生境以及找到最佳生态实践方法的重要性。A Social Centerpiece: The Seed Bank is the physical and social centerpiece of the company’s state-of-the-art sustainable mass-timber-framed building. It encourages engagement amongst its visitors and educates about the importance of native habitats and best ecological practices. ©Kai Skye
▲根部：实际的种子被放置在植物根部横切面的图像上，每个根部结构都汇集了同一个物种。这些根部以抽象的方式展现了加州的原生草原物种，是根据已知的研究进行设计和解释。The Roots: The actual seeds are located in the cross sectional roots, with one species per root structure. Each root is an abstract representation of a native California grassland plant species and was designed and interpreted based on known research. ©Kai Skye
THE SEED BANK: A RESERVE AND INSPIRATION FOR A RESILIENT FUTURE
Construction has historically come at environmental and ecological costs. Humans have converted the vast majority of land in the continental United States into urban and suburban areas (54%) and agriculture (43%), leaving only around 3% relatively untouched as of 2009 (Tallamy 2009). We’ve planted the same few plant species in most of our cities and suburbs, considering convenience, aesthetics, and precedent as top priorities. In doing so we have created an unsustainable condition where a small number of plant species dominate our landscapes, and the biodiversity of insects, birds, and other wildlife depending on diverse native plants for survival are declining rapidly (UN Report, 2019).
This does not need to be the case. The impact of development can be positive and sustainable, and there is a huge upside in terms of human well-being in creating urban and suburban areas that connect people to nature. Species diversity also provides ecological services that we need now more than ever: it fosters ecological resilience by damping the effects of ever-more-frequent and intense natural events like fires, floods, and invasive insect outbreaks.
Seeds are a wonderful example of how evolution and environment relate to shape and form: like animals, they move through space via wind, water, and animal dispersal to find the right environment. Dormant seeds, however, travel through time to wait for the right environment to come to them, whether it’s a freshly-denuded slope where a landslide occurred, or a carbon-rich grassland where a fire recently burned. These seeds have adaptations that allow them to stay dormant until the ideal environmental conditions occur.
These concepts are translated into the Seed Bank, an 8’-high by 20’-long installation, located at the heart of our client’s headquarters, an innovative mass timber frame building. Easily accessible in the building’s lobby, the Seed Bank encourages engagement and conversation amongst everyone who passes through the space. The wall draws people in with its detailed, colorful, and textured design; they walk away with the informational Seed Map and local native seed packets from the Seed Bar.
▲什么是种子银行？种子银行将种子储存起来并保护它们的遗传多样性，使其免于变得稀有乃至灭绝。种子银行中的种子处于睡眠状态，它们是帮助植物跨越时间的容器。What is a Seed Bank? A seed bank stores seeds and preserves their genetic diversity in case they become rare or extinct. The seeds in a seed bank are not dead, but rather vessels through which plants travel through time. ©Miridae
▲植物图解的来源：项目团队从Jepson植物标本馆的植物图谱中提取出植物剪影，尽管并未体现物种的实际大小，但它们彼此之间的比例是相对应的。Sourcing the Botanical Drawings：We derived the plant silhouettes from Jepson Herbarium’s respected collection of botanical drawings. While the species are not represented in their actual size, they are proportioned relative to each other. © Jepson Herbarium + Miridae
▲最佳实践指南：种子地图介绍了种子传播的最佳方式。种子吧台内还提供了可以随身带走的本地混合种子包。5个小包内的混合种子分别对应着装置中展示的5个生态型板块。Best Practices Guide: The Seed Map communicates best practices for seed dispersal and is accompanied by a Seed Bar with take-away native seed packet mixes. Each of the five packaged seed mixes corresponds to each of the five ecotype panels of the installation. ©Kai Skye + Miridae
THE DESIGN: A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS
This project began as a close collaboration between a landscape architect and an ecologist, and expanded to include local artists who physically built (fabricated, painted, and installed) the Seed Bank.
The Seed Bank is a representation of native California grassland communities, depicted both in section and in elevation. Above the soil line, botanically accurate silhouettes of fifteen native California plant species sit in front of a colorful representation of the Coastal Range, which is located to the west, in the direction one faces when looking at the installation.
In contrast to the detailed and delicate plant stems, leaves, and flowers shown above-ground, the below-ground roots are exaggerated to showcase their different forms, from more fibrous grass roots to tap-roots. The roots were drawn based on best-known data and have been abstracted to highlight the difference between our higher-resolution understanding of plant biology above-ground versus our very limited understanding about their biology below-ground. The roots were then routed out of solid douglas fir and spray painted for a background pop of color, reminiscent of the fluorescent imaging used by scientists to estimate otherwise-invisible root structures. Each root is populated by the seed of that particular plant species and preserved in resin.
The Seed Bank is divided into five panels, with each panel highlighting a different application of the specified seed mixes. The five project types include: classic grasslands, backyard habitat, the urban grid, right-of-ways, and erosion control. Whether one is looking to create habitat in their backyard or restore a slope to mitigate erosion, the Seed Bank is a guide for what to plant.
The five panels are also organized around the ecological concept of ecotypes. Each panel represents a different ecotype, meaning the seeds showcased in that panel were sourced from a similar area and have locally-adapted genetics. Designing with ecotypes is a best practice in restoration because even though a single species may occupy a diversity of habitat types, it evolves to the local conditions (e.g. precipitation, soil type, etc.) at each site. Capturing ecotype diversity enhances genetic diversity and facilitates more rapid evolution, which are important steps in building resilient native habitats which can adapt to rapid climate change.
This project brings together a diversity of partners that are oftentimes on different sides of development, including our client (the construction company), a local native seed grower, a non-profit dedicated to promoting naive grasslands, and the Jepson Herbarium. The collaborations were formed and best practices were discussed during the multi-disciplinary design process, creating a precedent for continued collaboration that we hope will build more resilient projects that support the coexistence of humans and native habitat.
▲种子银行的布局：在面对这面墙时，观者也将朝向西面的海岸山脉和贝里耶萨峡谷，二者均展示于墙的顶部。五个板块根据它们所展示的生态型从左向右（从南向北）排列。Layout of the Seed Bank: As you face the wall, you face west towards the Coastal Range and the Berryessa Gap, both featured across the top. The five panels are then organized from left to right (or south to north) based on their ecotype. ©Chad Davies
▲种子的来源：项目团队从当地的种子供应商处采购种子，并促进了供应商和客户之间的合作关系。在无法获得普通麻迪菊种子的情况下，项目团队找到了当地的植物群落，并亲手收集了它们的种子。Sourcing the Seed: We sourced the seeds from a local seed grower and connected them with the client for ongoing collaboration. When we discovered that common Madia seeds were unavailable, our team found a local plant community and collected them by hand. ©Kate Hayes
▲制作：项目团队与当地艺术家共同完成了种子银行的设计、绘画、制作和装配。植物的根部被嵌入实心的花旗松木板，并以科学成像的方法为灵感，为它们画上了多彩的背景。树根内部以种子和树脂填充。Fabrication: We worked with local artists to design, paint, fabricate, and build the Seed Bank. We routed roots into solid douglas fir, painted them with a colorful backdrop inspired from scientific imaging methods, and filled the roots with seeds and resin. ©Kate Hayes
▲安装：途中展示了设计和安装过程中的最后几个阶段。Installation: These images highlight the final stages in the design and installation process. ©Kate Hayes
SCALING THE CONCEPT: SEED MAP + SEED BAR
The seed bank concept is scalable and conceptually accessible. It has brought direct positive impact with every step of the design, build, and education process. Our goal with the Seed Map, the interactive take-away brochure, and the Seed Bar, is to physically put the information and the seeds from the Seed Bank into the hands of employees and visitors, so they can share information and spread seeds. The Seed Map identifies the native plant species and educates viewers about seeds banks, seed dispersal methods, and best planting practices.
The Seed Bank is integrated with other elements in the headquarters that facilitate seeds traveling through space. Two small green roofs are planted with the species highlighted in the Seed Bank. The plant layout was organized to test dispersal patterns, particularly from birds and wind. This is an exciting potential for green roofs – the idea that species can move down from roofs, finding their way into unplanted nooks and crannies within the urban fabric. Our team looks forward to monitoring and mapping the movement, both on the roof and in the neighborhood blocks surrounding the headquarters.
The Seed Bank supports communities of people, plants, ecosystems, and seed suppliers. It disperses seeds both literally and figuratively, tactically inserting native plants into the urban fabric, while raising ecological awareness to an audience of builders and developers that play a huge role in the future of our built environment. By learning about and promoting the crucial benefits of native plants and native seed, we can all be better poised to solve larger-scale crises like forest fires, climate change, and erosion by building resilient habitat in our backyards and communities.
▲种子地图：与种子银行配套的种子地图更加细致地描述了该项目的概念、应用和具体的植物。设计团队希望为这个小册子赋予互动性，使它们与种子银行的排列位置保持一致。The Seed Map: A Seed Map accompanies the Seed Bank and describes the concept, application, and specified plants in more detail. We designed the handout to be interactive and to orient and align with the Seed Bank. ©Kai Skye
▲本地种子的传播：打开种子地图后可以看到一幅图解，它介绍了种子的传播技术以及墙面上展示的植物。Dispersal of Native Seeds: The Seed Map opens to a diagrammatic map that describes seed dispersal techniques and identifies the plants highlighted on the wall. ©Miridae
▲屋顶花园实验：项目团队将屋顶绿化植物按照系统网格排布，从而更容易对每个物种的生长和繁衍状况进行检测。其目的是为客户创造一个先例，使其可以在未来的建筑项目中沿用和推广。A Green Roof Experiment: We laid the green roof plants out in a systematic grid so that we can more easily monitor how each species grows and spreads. The goal is to set a precedent for the client to replicate in future construction projects. ©Miridae
▲屋顶花园：从种子银行所在的大厅可以看见两个小型的花池。花池内的种子最终将传播至周围的街区，在萨克拉门托市中心创造更多的本地生境。The Green Roof: Two small green roof planters are visible from the lobby where the Seed Bank resides. Seeds from these plants will eventually spread into the surrounding neighborhoods, creating even more native habitat in Downtown Sacramento. ©Kate Hayes
▲变化的种子：种子银行与公司员工的日常生活产生了密切的联系，并延伸至建筑之外，融入到客户（建筑公司）所做的项目当中。每位访客在离开总部大楼时都会带走实际的种子以及与种子相关的信息，随后在他们生活的社区中传播。Seeds of Change: The Seed Bank ties into the daily lives of the company’s employees and extends beyond the building walls, into their construction projects. Everyone who visits the headquarters leaves with information and actual seeds to spread in their own neighborhoods. ©Miridae
▲大家的种子银行：种子银行悬挂在定制的酒吧台后方，这里是公司员工们时常举行聚会和社区活动的场所。这样的安排也将促进员工们进行对于生态意识、生态恢复力以及未来建筑环境的最佳实践方法等话题的讨论。A Community Seed Bank: The Seed Bank hangs behind a custom wine bar and is the site of frequent office happy hours, community gatherings, and larger events that include discussions around ecological awareness, resilience, and best practices for the future of our built environment. ©Kai Skye