Seedling (Cedar)

rendering, in progress

Seedling is a concept rendering reconstructed from a micro-CT scan of a germinating tree, enlarged to an architectural scale. It is designed to be installed in an inverted orientation on the surface of the reflecting pool. Seedling (cedar) is modelled after a western red cedar.

The tree, as an image, plays an interesting role in the history of language. It is used in a rich range of metaphors to describe the “Tree of Life”, the “Tree of Knowledge”, or “The World Tree”. In the Sino- language tradition, the most common modern character for ‘tree’ is 木.

It is interesting to note that archaic version of the same character depicted the tree rather as a symmetrical system, with both branches above ground and roots below. I see this shift in language as indicative of our modern challenge to see beyond the surface image of the natural world, and to understand more completely the holistic nature of living systems. The upside down tree allows the root ‘system for living’ to be exposed, and the young life-form to resonate as a symbol of germination and growth.


tree in Seal script , Bronze Age China

Micro-CT scan: UBC Centre for High-Throughput Phenogenomics
Seedling rendering: Grégoire Dupond