We've seen greenhouses tested in space and mini-gardens on the streets of Paris, but Jenny Sabin's 125 mini-greenhouses are pure expressions of jewel-colored eco-art. The Cornell University designer's unconventional Greenhouse & Cabinet of Future Fossils is slated to open this Friday at the American Philosophical Society Museum in Philadelphia as part of an exhibition entitled "Of Elephants & Roses: Encounters with French Natural History." The rainbow-hued hotbox is a digitally-designed collection of pastel mini-greenhouses made entirely out of recycled and recyclable materials. The project draws attention to two different kinds of scientists that emerged from post-revolutionary France: the intrepid explorer and the nerdy lab scientist.
In keeping with the exhibit’s overall philosophical theme, Jenny created an environmentally-friendly structure that represents the openness that an “explorer” scientist experiences as well as the closed box that lab scientists tend to work in. At 52 feet long, the structure is supported by arching whale-like ribs and features no fewer than 125 2’x2’x1′ cold cases or mini-greenhouses that require absolutely no heat in order to produce edible and ornamental plants.
All of the materials used for this project have either been recycled or can be recycled, mitigating the frivolous use of natural resources. What’s more, Jenny’s contribution to the APS exhibit is more than just an art or philosophical talking piece. It also contains a series of real, portable greenhouses containing actual food that can be installed in city homes for winter gardening. The exhibit will be on show through December 3, 2011.