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Interpretive Design – Distinctly Different

This recent competition was predominantly interpretive designs so I did not have too much trouble visualising a “distinctly different” exhibit for the bench. The problem, for me always, is taking the drawing of what I want to do and making it actually happen with plant material.

As an exercise in preparation, drawing or sketching your idea is very good practice. It doesn’t matter how you sketch it so long as you transfer what is in your head onto paper (or screen – I have a great one finger painting program on my tablet!). It is particularly useful when you start planning an exhibit well before the competition and may have a few breaks from it before serious preparation begins.


Now to this design:

Distinctly different

I have a bright plastic geodesic sphere that I have always wanted to use somewhere in a design. This Class title seemed appropriate. The sphere is resting on the top of a glass candle holder. My original plan was to then create a cascade arrangement from the glass up over the sphere but when finished it hid too much of the sphere and looked like a standard cascade arrangement – not different in any way except for a few spots of colour showing through.


Back to the drawing board. Waxing is a trend in floral art at present (February 2014) – how to use this in the design? I have dribbled bright orange wax over the glass and also place a small glass dish at the base of the candle holder. The dish has some yellow wax and yellow kangaroo paw set into it. There is a darker succulent standing in the dish and reaching up into the sphere. yellow kangaroo paw is threaded through the sphere.

In the top glass are some variegated roses (Oranges & Lemons), agapanthus head minus flowers but with seeds, shredded flax and split aspidistra leaves.


The Judge acknowledged how different and distinct this design was but felt the green was too fussy and the sphere, because of its bright colour against the green, more dominant than the plant material. I should have placed the roses and a small amount of succulents or manipulated leaves inside the sphere. This would have taken your eyes past the bright colours of the sphere to the plant material, thus making the plant material the dominant feature of the design.

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