Plant Library :: Minneapolis College of Art and Design Public Library, 2015
Drawing from a hypothesis introduced by biologist and theorist E.O. Wilson in the 1980’s, the term biophilia refers to the “innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms”. The research, it seems, is just now catching up with our intuition, that yes, the composition of our activities and environment affects the neurology of our brain, our sense of belonging, and our health.
However enlightening this may be to architects and developers, for children, students, taxpayers and elders, its consequence is little. Any control of the physical environment is actually quite limited. Limited by time, resources, money, power, etc., the ability to change to the workplace or city or living conditions for many seems inaccessible.
Insert plant library. The Plant Library is a self-checkout library of various plants, wood shavings, twigs, nuts and cones, housed within a public library. It uses the dewy decimal system, hand typed membership cards, checkout cards, and instructions. Patrons of the Plant Library have a 24hr check out period to take their ligneous or herbaceous companions to their office desk, a stressful exam, a first day of class. The pencils provided are custom printed with the Dr. S. R. Ranganathan’s 5th law of library science "The library is a living organism” and each plant has its own ID and specific instructions on care and personality. The dry, anthropomorphized descriptions of each item point to the library being both a critique and a salve for human/plant estrangement.