In recent years we see a growing ability to engineer plants according to our needs; it can be esthetic qualities like color and shape or even functionality like fridge fit size, better shelf life or less hair for a clean smile.The human centered approach reflected by these design interventions reshaped the last decade of consumption systems and products, today we ought to look beyond humans into a wider context of environmental systems.

This case study looks at wild thorn flowers. When summer begins, thorn flowers are hardening their leaf structure to form spikes which physically deter animals, and ensure their survival during the extreme summer conditions. Among Israel local vegetation they have excelled their survival abilities- from ancient periods till today most of the species we see remained the same. Though they play an important role in the local ecosystem, from a human perspective they are a nuisance- they sting and accelerate summer bush fires.

What may be the evolution of thorn flowers in a hipper human centered environment? Together with designer Yuri Movshovich we’ve created a speculative series of thorn flowers questioning the way we are choosing to reshape nature.
What can we learn from them? (qualities to keep) and what will we desire to change? Should thorns be more empathic? or will they disappear from our envisioned future landscapes?

The proposed structures use the core morphology of thorn while suggesting several ways to reflect on co living with thorns- softening edges, connecting edges to form protective cages sheltering the flower reproduction organs and looping edges to create rounded morphologies while keeping stings in strategic areas.


Supported by: Su-Pad, printed in Stratasys @Vero White
Commissioned by: Jerusalem Biennale

Collaborator:  Yuri Movshovich