Algorithmic garden design tool, website, unlimited Edition Gardens.
Originally commissioned by the Eden Project and funded by Garfield Weston Foundation. Additional founding supporters Gaia Art Foundation and collaborators Google Arts & Culture.
Pollinator Pathmaker is an artwork for pollinators, planted and cared for by humans. The aim is to transform how we see gardens and who we make them for. Created by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, this one-of-a-kind, interspecies artwork was originally commissioned by the Eden Project, Cornwall, UK.
Visit the artwork at pollinator.art.
Bees, hoverflies, butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles, and other pollinators are essential for many plant species to reproduce and for ecosystems to flourish. But human-made habitat loss, pesticides, invasive species, and climate change are causing a terrifying decline in pollinator populations around the world.
Without pollinators, many plants can’t reproduce and make seeds. Without seeds, many of the trees, flowers, and crops we rely on simply wouldn’t exist. Plants are vital to the survival of life on Earth, including us. How and what we plant matters, so Ginsberg asked: what would a garden look like if it were designed from a pollinator's perspective, rather than ours?
Pollinators see colours differently from us, forage in different ways, and emerge in different seasons to each other. As a result, a garden designed for them may look quite different from a garden designed for us.
The first Pollinator Pathmaker Edition Gardens - a 55m permanent installation at the Eden Project, Cornwall, and eleven meandering beds in Kensington Gardens, London, commissioned by the Serpentine - are now open to the public, with more large-scale gardens to follow around the world.
Pollinator Pathmaker is not just about large public gardens: at pollinator.art you can use the algorithmic tool for free to make your own garden artwork. Simply follow the steps in the algorithmic toolbox to select your garden conditions and play with how the algorithm solves the problem of empathy. It then generates a garden design for you; each design created is a one-off edition of the artwork.
Thanks to Ginsberg’s 450 digital plant paintings, you can explore your garden as a 3D painting or planting plan, zoom in or fly through it like a pollinator, learn more about your plants, and use ‘pollinator vision’ to imagine how pollinators see it. Then share or save the link to revisit your garden, download your planting instructions (complete with a certificate of authenticity for your editioned artwork), and if you can, plant it!
Every garden planted – from back yard to windowsill to museum grounds – is a living artwork designed and tended with empathy for the tastes of pollinators, not ours.
Working with Eden’s horticulturalists, pollinator experts, and an AI scientist, Ginsberg devised a unique algorithmic tool that will always make the most empathetic planting design. She defines this as planting to support the greatest diversity of pollinator species. The algorithm solves this problem, choosing and arranging from a curated palette of locally appropriate plants. Every garden it generates is different, but each is computed to support the maximum pollinator species possible.
Pollinator Pathmaker is a response to human-made ecological damage. By creating for other species, it uses art to give us empathy and agency to care for them. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced gardener, join us in this art-led campaign to create the world’s largest climate-positive artwork together.
Pollinator Pathmaker, Eden Project Edition Garden, 2021
Atlantic Europe Plant Palette
Commissioned by the Eden Project and Funded by Garfield Weston Foundation.
Additional founding supporters Gaia Art Foundation and collaborators Google Arts & Culture.
Pollinator Pathmaker, Serpentine Edition Garden, 2022
Atlantic Europe Plant Palette
Commissioned by Eden Project and Serpentine.
With support from Nicoletta Fiorucci Foundation and Google Arts & Culture.
Pollinator Pathmaker, LAS Edition Garden, 2023
Continental Europe Plant Palette
Commissioned by Eden Project and LAS.
Pollinator Pathmaker, Digital rendering of Eden Project Edition Garden (detail), 2021.1/5
Preparatory sketch by the artist, 2020. © Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg.1/3