Virtual Tea & Talk: The Garden of Secrets

Appreciating Nature from Isolation

Dr. Dori Tunstall, Douglas Justice, Patrick Lewis
Kate Morsink

Designing for a Better Future

Throughout history, people have sought connections with nature. Now, while the global pandemic has required us to #StayHome, we are longing for meaningful connections with nature more than ever.

Virtual Screening

In celebration of  Earth Month, and the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we convened virtually for a “Tea & Talk”, featuring a screening of The Garden of Secrets, a documentary film by TEALEAVES and UBC Botanical Garden.

The Garden of Secrets reveals botanical gardens as the ultimate “idea libraries” that play host for nature’s most impressive solutions. They are living museums where a wealth of solutions, perfected over billions of years of trial and error, have been assembled for all of us to behold. What secret solutions can these spectacular collections offer for today’s most pressing challenges from public health to climate change?

The event entailed a screening of the film followed by a moderated conversation with leading experts in botany and design, speaking to the importance of our relationship with nature and the significance it lends to our mental and physical well-being. The discussion also explored how we can recalibrate ourselves within our own ecosystem by learning from the world’s oldest innovators (plants!), thus contributing to the betterment of humanity and a greener future.


earth day virtual screening
Discover the documentary here.

The Panelists

Dean Dori Tunstall, Dr. Dori Tunstall is a design anthropologist, public intellectual, and design advocate who works at the intersections of critical theory, culture, and design. She is currently the Dean of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design University. Prior to joining OCAD, Dori held the role of Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Design at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. While at Swinburne, she established the Master’s and Graduate Diploma of Design (Design Anthropology)

Dori was the Associate Director, City Design Center, University of Illinois at Chicago and Associate Professor of Design Anthropology, School of Art + Design, University of Illinois at Chicago. From 2005–2006 she also served as the Managing Director of Design for Democracy.

Douglas Justice, Douglas Justice is Associate Director of Horticulture and the Collections at UBC Botanical Garden, with responsibility for day-to-day operations and the living collections. He is an instructor in the Garden’s Horticulture Training Program, and also teaches woody plants in UBC’s Landscape Architecture program. Douglas trained in nursery work and is a lifelong gardener.

Patrick Lewis, As Director of the UBC Botanical Garden (est. 1916), including the Nitobe Memorial Garden, Patrick Lewis is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the Garden.

Prior to joining the Garden, Patrick was the Managing Director of UBC’s Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, as well as on the executive of the UBC College for Interdisciplinary Studies. He is a founding member and director of the North American Japanese Garden Association, sits, ex officio, on the Vandusen Botanical Garden’s Board of Directors, and is an active member of the American Public Garden Association. From 2011 to 2013 Patrick was director of the UBC Biodiversity Collections, including the Garden, as well as the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

Continue Exploring

Delve further into the The Garden of Secrets, discover the documentary.
Blended by Botanists, for Biodiversity: Encounter The Garden of Secrets herbal blend. 100% of  proceeds donated to UBC Botanical Garden.
Stay up to date for the next virtual screening, visit our events page.

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.