The Garden of Secrets: Film Screening & Panel Discussion

FEB 12 | 6:30-8PM

FEB 12, 2020 | 6:30-8PM | Doors @ 6:15PM | Free Parking | All Ages Welcome


6:30PM | Introductions

6:40PM | Film: Garden of Secrets (21 mins; unrated)

7:00PM | Panel Discussion and Q&A


Join us for the short film, Garden of Secrets and a panel discussion about biomimicry, “idea libraries” and the revolutionary new role botanical gardens can fill in helping us find solutions for the future. 


Cohosted by OMSI and the Portland Japanese Garden’s International Japanese Garden Training Center. The event is part of the 2020 Garden+ public lecture series presented by the Training Center. Garden+ invites designers, authors, and practitioners to explain new ideas, challenge assumptions, and share new creative work with our audiences.


Tickets are $7/non-members. OMSI and Portland Japanese Garden members receive $1 off. (PJG members will receive a discount code via email.)


The Empirical Café will be open with sandwiches, hotdogs, snacks and beverages.



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.



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.