Nobody in Miami recognizes the dandelion. I can say this with certainty, since I’m from there. The landscape instead offers lush, tropical plants with giant leaves and unbelievable color: red gingers and emerald ferns that might have escaped from some Ray Bradbury world. So, few people in Miami will know about the tenacity of dandelions. Leave the humid wonderland and the dandelion is everywhere: creeping up from your house’s foundation, invading your Kentucky bluegrass—dandelions might even sprout from your ears if given half a chance. Hence, the dandelion is the perfect plant for Lonneke Gordijn’s Fragile Future I, a light sculpture subtitled “electronics and dandelions” that combines nature and technology. Fragile Future I can be constructed on a wall in any number of combinations, as the electronic modules join together. Made from electronics, LEDs, phosphorous bronze, and dandelion seeds, Fragile Future I is “predestined to overgrows a surfase.”
Fragile Future I. Designed by Lonneke Gordijn. Exhibited via Design Drift.
In a wonderful nod to Fragile Future’s organic inspiration, the sculpture will turn itself off when people come too close (an optional feature), like a natural defense. Designer Gordijn explains it best: “This is the same mechanism as a poppy that drops its petal when you pick it, or a Ladybird that acts as dead in your hand when caught.” Personally, I find her “bad” translation rather poetic. Gordijn is one half of Drift, another Dutch design company striving for innovation. What’s most interesting with Fragile Future I—and with many of Drift’s projects—is the concept behind it: the marriage of the natural and the technological (flower and electricity), the past and the future (organic and artificial), the practical and the theatrical (light and splendor). Fragile Future I encapsulates Drift’s philosophy: “We aspire to create timeless design…full of energy, fantasy and interaction.” The light sculpture on display at Design Miami achieves all this and more.