Can or should we design plants adaptable to extreme weather conditions?
Can we afford not?

The diversity of leaf shapes, sizes and structures allow plants to adapt to nearly every environment. The precise molecular switches that control that process are being unveiled. Research on plant morphology is putting together the genetic blueprint that controls plant structure and shape. The findings could be the first steps to a new generation of plants that are more resilient to unpredictable weather patterns, meet the challenges of global demand for food and even influence climate.

Urpflanze features hypothetical plant archetypes supplied with specific features that enable them to adjust to living conditions in the future, such as extreme drought, floods and increasingly higher CO2 levels. The illustrations are inspired by plant morphology research from the Department of Animal & 
Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield.

The project attempts to give a brief overview of current research, questions whether we can or should design specific adaptations to a rapidly changing environment, and where can we draw parallels applicable to us.


Urpflanze is an original idea by Susana Soares
Susana Soares – designer


Monica Santos – graphic design and animation

Dante Marinho – webmaster


Professor Andrew Fleming, Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, university of sheffield – Science advisor.