Philosophical Gardens focused on seventeenth-century mathematical reasoning and methodical data collection following the Newtonian revolution. The exhibition highlighted these topics by focusing on the discoveries of Reverend Stephen Hales and Robert Hooke.
The Eames Office painstakingly recreated examples of their work, featuring Hooke’s engravings of microscopic organisms and photographs of Hales’s plant experiments, which were mounted to latticed gazebos and surrounded by a colorful array of potted flowers.
Like most of the Eames Office’s exhibitions, Philosophical Gardens included an interactive component. Visitors had the opportunity to view plant specimens and seedlings under a microscope to gain a better understanding of their structure.
After its debut at the IBM Corporate Exhibit Center, Philosophical Gardens traveled to numerous other institutions both nationally and abroad.