” Taking Imagination Seriously” – Janet Echelman

Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously

Published on Jun 8, 2011 by TEDtalks Director


“Janet Echelman found her true voice as an artist when her paints went missing — which forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes billowing, flowing, building-sized sculpture with a surprisingly geeky edge. A transporting 10 minutes of pure creativity.

Janet Echelman builds living, breathing sculpture environments that respond to the forces of nature — wind, water and light— and become inviting focal points for civic life.

Exploring the potential of unlikely materials, from fishing net to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create her permanent sculpture at the scale of buildings. Experiential in nature, the result is sculpture that shifts from being an object you look at, to something you can get lost in.

Recent prominent works include “Her Secret is Patience”, which spans two city blocks in downtown Phoenix,  “Water Sky Garden”, which premiered for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and “She Changes”, which transformed a waterfront plaza in Porto, Portugal.  Her newest commission creates a “Zone of Recomposure” in the new Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport. Upcoming projects include the remaking of Dilworth Plaza in front of Philadelphia City Hall — turning it into a garden of dry-mist.”Matching artistic vision with technical innovation, Janet Echelman offers new ideas for public art.”

I bumped into this video when I was looking up something at  iTunes u on my iPad. I found it very inspiring, not only because of the creative and beautiful artwork, but also because of the inspirational speech by this talented artist.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. excellent, she takes imagination really seriously, inspiring! Thanks for posting it.

    1. friendlytm says:

      I am glad that you like it. Thanks .

  2. Clanmother says:

    A testament to artistic creativity that sees possibilities, the extraordinary in the ordinary.

  3. friendlytm says:

    Thank you for putting together such a beautiful statement about this post!

  4. bluebrightly says:

    THANK YOU! I just found out about her recently, love the work, but had not seen this video. Inspiring. Just love the work! Oh, I said that…

    1. friendlytm says:

      I am glad that you like it. I found her while I was looking up a new educational app on my iPad. She was on the TED conference website. Her presentation was so inspiring that I couldn’t help writing that post. Her work is really special.

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