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Introducing illuminate: A Letter From the Editor

Words by
October 17, 2016
Five years ago I was an architect by profession. My connection to nature was at a large scale: the urban landscape, the outdoors. As soon as I came on board with Bulbo, I found myself immersed in the plant realm on a more intimate level. Days were spent investigating how plants can thrive indoors thanks to artificial light and how to support vegetal life outside their typical surroundings. Very quickly, as an entrepreneur focused on plants and as an urban dweller myself, I felt the need to question my relationship with domesticated nature and Bulbo’s role in replicating the power of sun within the perfect yet mysterious bonds between light and plants.

I wanted a closer look at and a better understanding of these green machines and their ability to capture the energy of the sun and turn it into life. I started expanding my personal understanding by reading more about plants. I left Le Corbusier for Michael Pollan and moved from Gilles Clément to Daniel Chamovitz and Stefano Mancuso. Through the amazing work of these passionate scientists and journalists from around the globe, I embarked on a botanical journey which led me to find answers and whet my appetite for further plant investigation.

Triggered by the most basic questions the Darwins, father and son, put forth almost two hundred years ago (Do plants see? Do plants move?) to the controversial recent research on plant communication and intelligence, I became fascinated by the surprising resilience and perfection of vegetal life. And that’s when I realised my curiosity for the vegetal realm was reaching well beyond the confines of four walls.

In the recent years so-called “green living” has made its way into the glamour scene. Plants and flowers are now omnipresent: from design to fashion, to food and education, they are in our homes, schools, restaurants, offices, shops, and overflowing in magazines and on our Instagram feeds, creating a flourishing of green in daily life.

But what do we know about plants beyond aesthetics and basic facts? How much are we aware of our dependence on them? And is this renewal of love for vegetation solely based on human whimsy? Are plants no more than objects in a larger trend?

illuminate, the Bulbo digital journal, is a space to share our curiosity and passion and put forth these investigations. We have created a community where boundaries blur and the vegetal world is rediscovered through an urban lens. As the title illuminate suggests, we want to enlighten and awaken our perception of the plant realm, forming a space where our vegetal companions are not objectified, but rather understood as complex forms of living beings. We will question the very idea of nature and natural as relevant to urban life. We will encourage discovery, inspiration, and introspection along the intersecting lines of food, science, health, history, design, and technology.

Developed in a country famous for its agricultural roots and sunny lifestyle, Bulbo was founded with the purpose of redefining the interaction between humans and plants by combining indoor cultivation with design and technology. Through illuminate we want to turn a trend into a reality that integrates into all facets of our daily urban lives. illuminate doesn't offer a romantic gaze on the rural, the natural, the colourful. It is not a gardening review nor a pure celebration of the beauty of plants, but a digital platform for amazing contemporary innovators, researchers, designers, industry players, and experimenters to present new perspectives on and a better understanding of plant life.

We invite you to join us in this continual cultivated conversation, to expand and explore with us your perception of the complexity of our world, the natural world.

Editor in Chief
Sara Pellegrini