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Film Screening: The Garden of Secrets

Join us for the short film “Garden of Secrets,” a co-production of the artisanal tea blender TeaLeaves and the University of British Columbia’s Botanical Garden. Through millions of years of evolution, the structures and processes of organisms have resolved many of the engineering and environmental challenges facing the modern world–we just need to look, observe, and learn. Botanical gardens are “idea libraries,” places where a wealth of these solutions have been assembled near the doorsteps of the scientists, engineers, and designers tackling these issues. Whether a developer, designer, innovator, or just plain interested, botanical gardens can offer secrets that are beyond their edible, aromatic, and medicinal properties.

The film’s concept is grounded in biomimicry, an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. In this exploration of nature, the film explores how botanical gardens and the “secrets” they house can inspire different innovators from tea blenders, designers, academics and more to build lasting impact on people, society and the environment. With this knowledge, it is our hope to generate awareness for and curb future decisions that may harmfully impact our planet and our well-being.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about the revolutionary new role botanical gardens can fill in helping us find solutions for the future.

Please note that this event is a co-presentation of Portland Japanese Garden’s International Japanese Garden Training Center and OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry).  It takes place at OMSI and tickets will be available from OMSI’s website from mid-January.

Ticket on sale dates: This event is ticketed through our presenting partner, OMSI, and ticket sales will be at from Jan. 13, 2020. Tickets are $7 for non-members and $5.95 for OMSI and Garden members providing a coupon code given in the member e-mail.

Garden members will need to enter a coupon code (to be announced) when purchasing tickets.

About the panelists


Patrick Lewis is Director of UBC Botanical Garden (including the Nitobe Memorial Garden).  Patrick is responsible for leadership and strategic direction. Prior to joining the Garden, Patrick was managing director of the Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics UBC, as well as on the executive of the UBC College for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Byron Garcia works for OMSI as an Outdoor Educator at Hancock field Station. He worked for OMSI for six years and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Biomimicry from Arizona State University. He has a passion for understanding the interconnectedness of the natural world that surrounds us.

Stefanie Koehler is a Portland-based consultant who works to facilitate an innovation mindset with organizations as they plan for a more sustainable future and co-create solutions people love. Her work combines being a strategist, designer, and visual facilitator. She views social problems as design challenges, using the art of design thinking to generate business opportunities.

Casey Howard is a landscape architect who was on the winning team of the 2015 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge with the team’s design concept, the Living Filtration System. Casey currently works here in Portland for the interdisciplinary firm MIG, where her work spans a diverse range of topics including play, inclusive design, historic landscapes, and climate change resiliency.