If you’re looking to own the ultimate in design-art talking points, it would be hard to beat a rod from Thomas Heatherwick’s acclaimed UK Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.
The Seed Cathedral boasts 60 000 7.5m-long perspex rods, each containing a different seed from Kew Garden’s Millennium Seed Bank.
According to reports in the Chinese media, a number of the rods, with seeds inside, are to be auctioned off to raise money for children with cerebral palsy.
In addition, 1000 rods will be given to the China Children and Teenagers Fund and another 1000 will go to Chinese schools involved in British Council-initiated sustainability programmes.
A total of 20 000 of the rods will be given to Kew Garden and its Chinese partner the Kunming Institute of Botany.
A spokesman for the pavilion is reported to have said that the Chinese public has given the structure the nickname of ‘Dandelion’ and like a dandelion the seeds will spread around the world. Ahhhh…
If you want to get your mitts on a rod though you’ll have to wait until after 31 October, when the expo will close and the rods will be cut off.