Herbarium - Atlas of Herbs
The whole concept of the atlas lies in the grids of the layout. I’ve experimented with generating Voronoi diagrams using Processing and Scriptographer. In mathematics, the Voronoi diagram is a way of dividing space into a number of regions. A set of points (called seeds, sites, or generators) is specified beforehand and for each seed is a corresponding region consisting of the points that are closer to that seed than to any other. These regions are called Voronoi cells. Voronoi-like shapes and structures are common in nature.
I’ve merged together the cell grid of the Voronoi diagram with Villard’s Figure.Villard de Honnecourt was a 13th century architect, working in France. He developed a similar principle for designing the layout of pages which he used in his own work with structures.
A Voronoi grid system was randomly generated for each herb in the atlas. The randomness was controlled by the rules of Villard’s Figure. This kind of layout allowed me to organize the elements of the book in a slightly different way for each of the plants. This system could be applied to an endless variety of plants, resulting in a diverse-looking atlas.
For each of the herbs I created a cyanotype print. Cyanotype is a 19th century photographic printing process, that gives a cyan-blue print. It was commonly used in herbariums for illustrating the structure of the plants. I re-edited the Voronoi grid system of each plant, using Nodebox, in order to create compositions, that reflect on their anatomical structure. These compositions were later printed as negatives, than projected on japanese paper wetted with cyanotype liquid.
During the printing process we experimented with the transparency of the paper. In order to make the “cell-grid system” visible, we chose the thinnest paper possible. This translucency created a leaf-like texture as the cells are only slightly visible through the paper under direct light.
(Contributing photographers: Ján Mýtny, Silvia Girmalová)