Hort 436
Contemporary Floral Design


Benjamin Romney
Office:  STC 310E  Floral Design Studio:  BEN 150/147    tel:  (208)  496-4590  email:  < romneyb@byui.edu>
mobile: 208 313-4287

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Course Description:
This course is an advanced level review of the profession and artistry of the Floral Industry, emphasizing the skills necessary to keep “with the times” as a contemporary designer. Focus is on the ability to assess and judge product quality, design interpretations, artistic dimensions, fluency with the language of flowers, the structure and mechanics of design construction, and the current trends associated with modern floral design.

Course Outcomes or Objectives:
Demonstrate the ability to use appropriate structural design and technique with a broad range of floral materials Demonstrate ability to judge quality and sourcing of floral products Develop and demonstrate an individual floral signature style by studying artists, architects, and designers Know the professional organizations that exist, what their purpose is, and how they can help you be more successful in your floral career 


Contemporary Design Terminology and Style Assignment

Contemporary Design Assignment

Global Standards Assignment
Floral Industry Organization and Standards
Floral Product Standards Judging Experience

Developing your own style: Art Statement Assignment Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
Survey of BYU Idaho graduates, and indepth study of global Contemporary Designers, style and technique

Interpretive Design Assignment: Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 
prepare an interpretive floral display to be placed in the Manwaring Student Center (MC) at a designated time during the semester.

Attendance and participation in class discussions

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office (208) 496-9210. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the students and instructor by the Disability Services Office.




Some terms that are historic in origin help a designer to articulate and more accurately describe contemporary designs.  Become familiar with the terminology and be prepared for a quiz on these terms.

Here is a link to the terminology


Perform a thorough search and study of Contemporary Floral Designs and Installations
Using the book "Art Flowers" by Olivier Dupon

This assignment will require your creativity in organizing and presenting your findings about each of the individuals in the book, as well as the references I provide below. Our goal is to both understand the artist, and define their style, accurately.

Don't forget to include documentation of your design work in your personal portfolio...  you may be famous someday and end up in a book...


In addition to the book, there are several places to go for exposure to global floral design artists. This link will introduce you to some connected with Fusion Flowers Magazine:

I have met and observed some wonderful people over the years, and would like to have you get to know their work as well:

Gregor Lersch,

Daniel Ost,

 Phil Rulloda

 Kathy Hillen-Rulloda

 Hitomi Gilliam,
http://www.hitomi-art.com/   new site coming soon:  http://hitomigilliam.com/ (both under construction)

Life3 a collaboration of three individual designers: Per Benjamin, Swedin; Max van de Sluis, Netherlands; Thomas de Bruyne, Belgium

J Schwanke (sign up and watch a few webisodes of JTV)

Jane Packer

Paula Pryke

Ian Prosser

 Ian Prosser, J. Keith White
and other FTD design team members

Christine de Beer

Regula Allenspach Weill, AIFD

Damien Koh

W. Ian Whipple

Gordon Lee (it is in Chinese...)
and here is his website:

Here is a link to my web page, where I have some ponderings and further development of this topic as a sample of the assignment.


Review the Floral Industry Standards for quality, consistency, and availability
Apply quality standards

Floral Industry Organization and Standards Exercise
Information Links about Organizations and Suppliers:
http://www.aifd.org/                                                                       American Institute of Floral Designers
http://www.endowment.org/                                                           AFE web page
http://www.aboutflowers.com                                                        saf's consumer web page
http://www.safnow.org/member.html                                           saf info     scroll down for info about pfci
https://safnow.org/about-saf/awards/pfci/ Society of American Florists
http://www.floraldesignmagazine.com/ Great compendium of designers, online magazine from New Zealand
http://www.jhc.com/                 formerly the John Henry Company, Multi Packaging Solutions
Information about Industry Standards:

USDA standards; Michael S Reed, U.C. Davis

UNECE international standards for Europe


Art Statement Assignment

Part 1 Study some examples from BYU Idaho alumni

For this exercise, please look over the following documents, written by students or graduates of BYU Idaho. These fine artists are displayed in various galleries. Albin and Josh had a show at the Spori Gallery some years ago, and these were their artist statements at that time, just a few years after completing their BA degrees at BYUI.

Albin Veselka pdf

Joshua Clare pdf

Giovanni Defendis, more recently completed his BA in Art from BYUI, is now developing a ceramic studio.
artist statement: http://defendisceramics.wixsite.com/giovannidefendis/artist-statement

Take some time to look over their work. Please follow the links below to see their personal information and get a feel for the art they create.

Alvin Veselka


Giovanni Defendis
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/defendis.ceramics/
web page: http://defendisceramics.wixsite.com/giovannidefendis


You should also search the internet to discover the galleries that are displaying their work. See how their work is valued, displayed, and marketed.

Part 2 Increase your understanding by studying several master designers from around the world

To help you gain a professional perspective on art and architecture, please study the links below that I selected, some because of their unusual situations and challenges, and others who are excellent examples of long term success, with the hope that you can gain some insights into how to develop a lasting, successful career. This will also help you consider your own situation, unique difficulties you have faced, and opportunities you have been given. This is an important component of developing your own artist statement.

Architect: Andrea Pardo Spaulding

Architect Harold H. Fisher

Andrea Cochrin, Landscape Architect

Here is a list of several LA firms:

and some Artist Artists:
Please be aware, some of these contain some more edgy, gritty art statements, but are great examples by real artists, or galleries that are gathering information about artists.








Finally, some samples of Floral Artist statements:






Part 3 Having studied graduates, and masters of various forms of art, you can now define yourself a bit more accurately

Prepare your own "artist statement." You may have noticed that many florists refer to this as a "mission statement," which is fine if you prefer to call it that in your statement.

Based on the examples you have studied, gather your thoughts and ideas into an artist statement of your own. Include enough information to allow others to understand your interests and inspiration, and what you intend to do with your abilities and preparation



Step 1 Select the work of art you will interpret

Select a favorite piece of art on display in the Manwaring Center that both inspires you and allows you to connect the general feelings of your "artist statement."

Step 2 Design a creative display that interprets the work of art, using floral products, materials, and design technique

Following the feelings and inspiration of this piece of art, develop an interpretive floral design that can be displayed during the assigned time periods during the semester. You will need to creatively come up with the design, the materials, and the construction of your piece with materials you can find locally, along with the materials that will be made available to you via the Flower Center. Your design piece will be on public display, and will need to be set up and taken down at the designated times discussed in class.

The design should include a structural grid system to support it. It can be made of materials that are strong enough to last for several hours. Artificial materials, dried materials, and structural components of wood or metal are allowed, along with fresh materials. Most of these design pieces will be displayed on easels available in the Flower Center
You can incorporate fresh flowers by providing appropriate water supply such as foam, cages, water tubes (which should be disguised as part of the structure. Any artificial flowers used must be sourced and purchased by the participating student.

Step 3 Design Explanation Poster to be displayed by your interpretive work.

Print your personal "artist statement" in large type so that it can easily be read by passers by) You should include a description or explanation of your design, explaining how the piece of art and the floral design you have created are related. Please know and identify all materials, sources, and prices of the material that is used in your design.  Include a list of materials used in your design explanation. You will need to set up your interpretive work by 9:00 am and remove it no earlier than 5:00 pm on the designated day for display that will be indicated in class.


Attendance and Participation
Your grade is based on participation, thoroughness of design ideas & execution, and attendance in class.  Your bright participation in class discussions, and your alert attention to the many forms of instruction will be duly noted.  You may be asked to participate at any time with material you have gathered, so be prepared by looking over the links below, reading magazines, books, and reviewing the various presentations we will watch together during class periods.