Patrick M. Lydon

Founding Director // American ecological artist and image-maker, Patrick resides in Osaka, Japan, where he and his wife run The Branch, an urban farm and ecological art lab. He holds an MFA from The University of Edinburgh, and previously studied at Aichi University of Arts, and California State University San Jose, and spent several years learning from nature and elders as a nomad in East Asia. He has written for YES! Magazine, Resilience, and is the arts & events editor at The Nature of Cities.
Artwork / Osakako Mandala

Artwork / Osakako Mandala

Comprising over 7,000 individual leaves collected from beneath a tree, this temporary ‘meditative” installation was created in public view over the course of four weeks at Contemporary Art Space Osaka as part of the Robert Callender International Residency.

After War… Where Compassion Lives

After War… Where Compassion Lives

On the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, a small group of volunteers from Japan visit South Korea. This short film follows their activities, showing us both the far reaching effects of war, and the power of human compassion.

Artwork / Urban Empathy Garden

Artwork / Urban Empathy Garden

Built along natural farming principals, we transform an empty urban lot into a natural garden based on empathy with all living things, including the weeds, bugs, and all of the life that enters the space. This empathy is woven into a series of arts and environment workshops, and eventually carried into the community by those who visit the garden.

EDU Workshop / Soil, Food, and Farm

EDU Workshop / Soil, Food, and Farm

A standards-integrated hands-on educational workshop that has students examine how their eating habits affect the soil and the ecosystem. Students will be able to demonstrate the importance of soil to the ecosystem, and devise their own real world answers and actions to combat ecological issues.

No Money Farming? It’s Enough.

No Money Farming? It’s Enough.

In an economy which pushes and fights its way towards new, profitable solutions, one Japanese man wields a refreshingly simple way of problem solving, finding balance for himself and his family in a way that most would find counter-intuitive.

Artwork / Centre for Endless Growth

Artwork / Centre for Endless Growth

A complete disconnection of our modern concept of “economic growth” from the reality of “natural growth” on this earth has created the most spectacular ecological issues humanity has ever seen. As a response, we built a temporary ‘research centre’ at the University of Edinburgh’s TENT Gallery; a suggestion to reconnect our ideas of economic growth with the natural growth that all of our systems are in the end, realistically bound to.

Artwork / [HUMAN:NATURE] Megijima

Artwork / [HUMAN:NATURE] Megijima

How do we revitalize dwindling communities? First, we learn about what they are and why they are important. This was a two-month community-based project that fused old-fashioned community interactions with web-based interactive media, allowing islanders and visitors to explore the hidden links between people, culture, and ecology on a small island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea.

Artwork / Free Food Kit

Artwork / Free Food Kit

On the face, the installation is a simple call for visitors to take seed into the community to be planted. Yet it also asks us to reconsider the links between ourselves and the food we eat, and the role and power of a seed.

The Journey of Dust (먼지의 여행)

The Journey of Dust (먼지의 여행)

She traveled for 14 months without money, wrote a hand-drawing traveling essay book called ‘Journey of Dust,’ and then decided to work seriously in the field of painting… 3 years later we catch up with Shinhe at her first solo exhibition.

London’s $1.4 Billion Cycling Seed

London’s $1.4 Billion Cycling Seed

London’s newly unveiled $1.4 Billion, 10-year bicycle plan will qualify as one of the world’s largest public works projects. With a yearly budget more than 100-times what New York City spent on bikes last year, will the effects trickle down to the U.S., or are we Yanks ‘just not built’ for cycling?

Mighty Cheeseburger Meets Lowly Cabbage

Mighty Cheeseburger Meets Lowly Cabbage

The mighty, juicy, cheeseburger meets the lowly leafy green… or is it the other way around? Having a curiosity about the energy required to produce different foods, Vero Alanis and I put the Cheeseburger to the energy-efficiency test, pitting it against the cabbage.

Is Global Warming Really the Problem?

Is Global Warming Really the Problem?

We are born to the world as a part of nature — well, except for test tube babies — and will also leave the world as a part of nature — okay, plus maybe some formaldehyde, antibiotics and whatnot. It’s just this whole ‘living’ part between being born and death where we seem to have things a little screwed up.

The Green Side of Art and Design

The Green Side of Art and Design

Hoseob Yoon (윤호섭) was one of South Korea’s most productive creative minds, working to create brand images for the likes of Citibank and Pepsi. In the 1990’s, he made a radical about-face in his work and life, founding one of the world’s first “green design” programs…

From Suburbia to Eco-Utopia in San Jose?

From Suburbia to Eco-Utopia in San Jose?

Silicon Valley’s City Center is in the middle of one of the great innovation capitals of the modern world to be sure, but when it comes to sustainable development, the city has traditionally been a perfect example of what not to do. How does San Jose go from suburbia to eco-utopia?