Natural Processes

/adaptations/ 2012 Call for Entries

This exhibition is open to proposals from all fields of design including industrial design, fashion design, interior design, graphic design, architecture, fabrication, engineering, and information technology. We are looking for innovative approaches which reflect the future of design through sustainable, emergent and regenerative systems, particularly those which are informed by biological and natural processes.

Adaptation refers to the ability of an organism to survive in a particular setting or milieu, through alterations of structure, physical form and/or behavior, operating through a process of natural selection. Similarly, design ingenuity, the creation and articulation of new technologies, is a human expression of adaptation.

Patterns of global consumption, resource depletion, and pollution have rendered many of our current modes of design and production insufficient or harmful to our existence. Innovative solutions to these issues are essential and as they emerge, they collectively influence and integrate the fields of design, fabrication, and information technology to bring us back into balance with our planet.

/adaptations/ is an exhibition to showcase leading developments in sustainable, emergent, and regenerative systems, particularly those which are informed by biological and natural processes. The exhibition is curated by Ginni Stiles, as part of DesignPhiladelphia 2012.

/adaptations/ will be installed in indoor and outdoor galleries at  Provenance Architecturals, located in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia.

October 10 – 20, 2012
Provenance Architecturals
912 Canal Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Deadline: August 1, 2012

Proposal Submission:

Please email a .pdf file (max 5MB) which includes:

  • a description/narrative of the work including any specific display requirements (max. 200 words)
  • 3 to 5 images
  • bio(s) or company information (max. 200 words)
  • Supporting links for reference may be included in the body of the email but may not substitute for the information requested in the Proposal document.

Email for Submissions:

For more information and inquiries please contact

DesignPhiladelphia, in partnership with University of the Arts, now in its eighth year, is a nationally recognized, city-wide design festival that celebrates Philadelphia as a center for creative advancement, drawing from broad range of design disciplines.

Ginni Stiles is an interior designer and craft artisan who specializes in the reuse of salvage materials. She is currently designing the renovation of several Philadelphia row houses and organizing the non-profit initiative Arcadia Commons. Previously, she worked at Greensaw Design & Build, where she was the lead designer and one of the fabricators for the “Reclaimed Kitchen” episode of House Crashers, and at Onion Flats, where she assisted with the construction administration of green roof, storm water management, and solar pv projects.

Mel Chin to speak at Farm Lab 2/11 7pm

For those of us who have followed the art and ecology movement over the last two decades, Mel Chin is considered an influential pioneer combining art with brownfield remediation. His famous or infamous Revival Field (1989-ongoing) funded with NEA money that was rescinded then later reinstated, demonstrated the natural processes of removing heavy metals from soil using hyper accumulator plants.
He did this project in collaboration with an agronomist at a landfill site in Minnesota.

Mel will be in Los Angeles next week to give a talk on his Fundred Dollar Bill Project in New Orleans. If you have never heard him speak, you should go, with the promise that you will be entertained and educated. Being an artist should be so much fun!

For more information go the FarmLab website HERE



The phrase “Earth Peace Mandala” sounds awfully alterna-hippie. Brings to mind sage, and barefoot dreadlocked dancing, and the sounds of, say, Phish, or the Dead. Which sometimes is great for the worms, and sometimes is great for jokes.

Artist Veronica Ramirez created Earth Peace Mandalas along the route of the Sustainable Living Roadshow. She does indeed bless the circle first with sage, but she does not dance around barefoot, and she’s not necessarily a Phish fan. What she does create is a gathering space, a place for people to connect with something slow and beautiful, and she does it with foliage and flower cuttings she finds in each city.

There’s much about a big ol’ flower soil mandala that’s not designed for transport: at every city a series of about 12 boxes, tubs and bags were unloaded: pinecones, pebbles, corn and a heart-shaped rock make up the basic elements of each mandala. In contrast, most other gear can be characterized bu the EZ-up: designed to be lightweight, transportable, quick to set up and break down. When asked about her gear, Veronica simply says, “It’s a process.”

Which is the essence of mandala-making: the process. Traditional Buddhist mandalas are created with colored sand, following intricate lined patterns marked out on a level surface. The act of manipulating tiny grains of sand into endless and repeating forms is a kind of mediation in and of itself.The lines in such mandalas depict the four directions, significant gods, portions of legends, and symbolic colors.

Ramirez just uses sticks and petals. As she works, folks stop by, tuning out the music and surrounding carnival to help her pluck petals, strip branches, sift grains and spread them into a circular devotion of the planet. It gives a moment to pause and reflect, and to wonder for a moment at natural processes.



Go to the Green Museum