Johnny Appleseed

This project originated from an assignment in my digital fabrication class in which I was to digitally render and fabricate a handmade object. These simple guidelines led to a small object that could be filled with four different kinds of seeds in separate compartments–notably companion plants–in which the user would hold or attach to their backpack during a stroll, allowing the device to be agitated as the user goes on about their business, ultimately releasing the seeds into nature.

The second iteration of this project was constructed in my wearable electronic art class and took a similar functional approach, but adopted the form of a vasculum. The vasculum is a carrier used by botanists predominantly during the 18th and 19th centuries to collect delicate botanical specimens. Vascula took on cylindrical and hexagonal forms, and were often decorated with provincial or botanical imagery. Appropriating this aesthetic and recontextualizing it to consider modern technology and issues regarding land use and floral distribution, Johnny Appleseed II was made to be filled with seeds and release them during suitable light conditions (based on light intensity readings of the preprogrammed microcontroller). In addition to being a functional piece, Johnny Appleseed II explores the integration of the environment into the man-made, an attempt to clear the fog of human life that blurs the relationship between humanity and its surroundings, to encourage a stronger connection.

Johnny Appleseed II (2018); microcontroller/servo motor, lasercut plywood, metal hinges, cotton webbing straps, acrylic paint


Johnny Appleseed (2017); seeds, lasercut plywood, 3D printed resin, key ring