Exchange/Kate Bajic: Lichenology, a touring exhibition, explores a common, yet often overlooked composite organism - lichen.
Lichen comprise fungi and algae working in symbiosis, the former of which form the protective structure of the organism, the latter harnessing its capacity for photosynthesis to - all intense and purposes - power the organism’s metabolism.
One of the oldest living things to have colonised land, lichens might be considered a pioneer species, for upon taking up residence on a surface, such as a mountainside, they create conditions suitable for other life forms to grow and thrive. For example, they release nutrients including nitrogen and phosphorus, both of which are fundamental to the existence of flora diversity.
Populating the surface of both natural and man-made structures throughout rural and urban habitats, lichen, or more specifically, its diversity and condition, can serve as a bio monitor, as most species are highly sensitive to air pollution.
Lichenology presents these, and many more thought-provoking facts about the composite organism, and in doing so it points the way to lichen’s dynamic role in our future towns and cities.
Hand-in-glove with bioscience, the exhibition presents bioart, in the form of the intricate and delicate designs of Kate Bajic, who in 2013 embarked on a Masters researching and developing a lichen-inspired jewellery collection (above and below). Her work “portrays the physical, chemical and functional aspects of specific lichen”.
On show at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh until May 15th 2016, Exchange/Kate Bajic: Lichenology is well worth a visit.
Read more at the link below:
Melissa Sterry, design scientist, systems theorist, futurologist, founder Bionic City®.
Asking the question "how would nature design a city" since 2010.
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