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The Power of One

emc alumni emc core program emc designer floral design floral education inspiration Nov 28, 2022

Focus on one single flower

Advanced Class task to enhance our student's design abilities

Floral design is the art of communicating emotions through flowers. The entire EMC curriculum is built on this concept. It is a place where designers get to grow in their capabilities to engage people emotionally and deliver added value and passion through flowers, rather than delivering just flowers. 

Going through the entire educational program, students study the Elements and Principles of design during Foundation Class and with guidance and feedback from the educational team, they work through their Practicum, an active implementation program that helps students in their growth process, taking the knowledge they learned in Foundation to the next level, in preparation for the magical experience of Advanced Class. There is an assigned schedule of skill practice is complemented by video tutorials which will demonstrate mechanics and techniques which may be useful to complete the assignments given. This framework is delivered online with weekly interaction in "pods" with other students and an EMC Coach giving the student time enough to practice becoming proficient in the learned skills. The focus of the Practicum is to mainly engage the students into a deeper understanding of how all Elements and Principles of design interact between each other and build their confidence in their design abilities. All the knowledge of Foundation and the practice that follows prepares the student for the Advanced Part. 

The beauty of the Advanced Class stands in the concepts that are being thought in class by Tomas De Bruyne and the guidance students get as they start diving into the exam tasks that are needed to be passed in order for the certification to be granted. All along each day there are specific tasks that are being prepared and incredibly challenging, just as they are motivating and pushing students to move forward and expand their creative universe. 

Emotions are our messengers, so we are responsible for translating them through flowers. As designers, we have to put aside our personal egos and reflect the emotions of the customers. Our focus should be on what they want to convey to their audience, guests, public, depending on the occasion. Flowers are the perfect medium for this because they 'speak' a language that can be universally understood.

One of the first assignments given in class during the Advanced Course is "The power of one".

As you create a floral composition, you will find many elements dominating each other. Without conscious control, one can only hope that everything will be fine and that the truly important element will get the attention from the viewer. The visual impact, however, should be in the control of the designer and not of mere luck. When consciously creating, you are in control!

The dominant element of a design is the one with the highest visual importance. It's the first thing that catches your eye in the design. Be careful not to let an element dominate so much that it completely obscures everything else. But make sure it stands out in your creation and yet merges with al other elements as well. Your dominant element is the starting point for the story you tell to your audience, clients and potential clients. It's the gateway to understanding the true value of your design as your viewers should be directed to where they should look first.

The main element gets the attention first and then sets the context for what is displayed.The most important information in a composition should be highlighted. Whatever message you desire to convey to people should be clearly communicated in or near the dominant element. Without an entry point, viewers have to work hard to find their way into your design. You have to think and figure out a way to not make the audience think, but only feel and experience. 

This is how you enter into a conversation with your audience, as floral design is the art of communicating emotions through flowers. Tension, creativity and craftsmanship, dynamics and principles of Gestalt come into play in any floral composition, but when it comes to a single flower design, all these powerful tools of knowledge come into play and congruently focus on one flower only. Amazingly simple designs, and yet intricate at the same time, emerge from each student and we love to see ideas enfold during the working hours in the class. 

In a world of apparent abundance in social media posts, yet real life scarcity in flower supply all over the work, it is almost crucial for a floral designer to be able to master the art of emotions to such extent that each individual flower used in a design is creatively showcased to its full capacity. Adding emotional value to an arrangement is not directly related to the number of flowers used, but rather to the way each flower is used and showcased. And therefore, the final outcome of a floral expression can be just as impactful even if the design uses a single flower. 

"The power of one" designs 

The beauty of the Zantedeschia lies in also in its stem. The ability to curve and mend the stem gives this particular flower a new dimension. By placing emphasis on the stem with a wool wrap, Anahit merged the flower into the decorative construction. Dynamic lines are intentionally placed in a repetition in order to create a singular concept. The choice of colour is increasing the focus on the flower head. It is also a creative approach and conscious choice that speaks of the discretion of the botanical, as the flower does have an elegant appearance. Adding the extra aluminium wires to the design creates a new decorative dimension, where the refined elements of the material itself and the way it was controlled as well are lifting the composition aesthetically. 

The flower er is more than the focal point of this composition. The flower is actually the source of inspiration for the entire construction in this design by Coral. Elements that are part of the construction of the botanical are cleverly extrapolated by the designer and reproduced through the aluminium wires. The colour choice of the wires strengthens the visual impact of the whole design, by creating a complementarity relation between the elements. The tension created places the flower in a context, the beauty of it is brought to a new dimension. Symbolically, the fragility of construction plays beautifully against the resistance of the botanical itself. Chryssanthemums are very resilient flowers and it is commonly known that they last a great deal of time when used as a cut flower, and Coral explored this  characteristic by building a construction that, though physically stable, it employs elements that speak fragility. 

Ursula chose a very particular flower, as the Anthurium. This choice sets new possibilities for the design to unfold as the botanical in itself is visually powerful. Colour wise, also, this choice takes the design to a whole new dimension. The texture of the flower is beautifully counterbalanced by the matte texture of the build construction. The entire design is a play of oppositions. Ursula has invested so much time in creating the construction with straight midollino sticks in order to create the context for the Anthurium to shine in its simplicity just as the maze of red midollino also underlines the beautiful graphic characteristics of the flower. 

A gerbera may not be the first choice of flower one would go for when faced with such a creative challenge. Creating a rather large size composition around a flower such as Gerbera, chosen with intention with a dim colouring, is a challenge in itself. Ana executed a stunning design where the Gerbera does shine because she used her knowledge and really transposed the botanical in a visual context where it becomes a star. The entire construction is actually drawn out of the flower itself, the black texture and colour of the centre of the botanical is the point of reference of the designer that inspires the materials chosen. The rough texture of the material employed to create this 3dimensional frame is beautifully opposing the detailed and fine petals of the flower, showcasing its unicity. 

Gloriosa is a one of a kind flower on its own and there's so much uniqueness in it that it's almost intimidating. The vegetative character of the botanical has been very cleverly integrated in a construction of completely opposite elements. The black straws construction created by Sarah are so intentionally different and built up to almost give the feeling that the flower is dominated. This positioning within the construction and at the same time at the very edge of it is actually the perfect place for the Gloriosa to actually take over the design and create and illusion of escape through its beauty. 

Single flower designs are not simple designs. They are intriguing and complex just as they are clean and showcase simplicity. The power of emotions in each individual design is just as strong, yet different, as any other design, irrelevant of the number of flowers use. Design is about the knowing, the mastering of the elements and the relation between them, and that is why at EMC we focus on this type of design during the Advanced Class, in order to introduce designer to a new capability of creating emotions.

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