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People, places and happenings

around the CityJet network

The Florence Experiment, a fascinating

project to explore the relationship between

plant behaviour and human emotions, is

taking place at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence

from 19th April-26th August. Devised by

celebrated German artist Carsten Höller

and plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso,

The Florence Experiment comprises two


Visitors will be handed a plant to

accompany them as they slide 20 metres

down from the second-floor terrace to

the Palazzo Strozzi’s courtyard on a huge,

intertwined spiral installation. Scientists will

then measure their plant’s photosynthetic

parameters and volatile molecules, triggered

by the emotions experienced by their descent

and picked up by the plant.

Next, they will visit a laboratory in the

basement of Palazzo Strozzi, where scenes

from famous comedies and horror films will

be screened in two theatres. The audiences'

contrasting reactions will produce different

volatile chemical compounds, which will

travel through a system of pipes and tubes

to the façade of the Palazzo. Outside, the

impact of these compounds and their effect

on the growth of wisteria vines, arranged

to climb up the palazzo wall by a series of

wires, will become increasingly apparent

over the summer months. The public's fear

or amusement is expected to visibly influence

the direction in which the plants grow,

thus creating a plant graph illustrating the

interaction between human emotions and

plant behaviour.

The Florence Experiment aims at creating

a new awareness of the way in which we

see, understand and interact with plant

life, turning Palazzo Strozzi's façade and

courtyard into fully-fledged areas of scientific

and artistic experimentation.



A new experience in Florence is taking

over the Palazzo Strozzi

“I am the property of my business, not

the reverse.”

“The desire for innovation and

constant improvement with which

we began this project 43 years ago is

the motivating idea which has guided

us up to the present time. One thing

hasn’t changed – the innovative spirit

and urge for improvement that was the

driving force back then.”

“We cannot limit ourselves to

continuing on the path we have

already opened.”

“Companies are comprised of

human beings without whose effort,

professionalism and motivation no

achievement could be made.”

“We must be able to retain talent, keep

our staff motivated and recruit new

individuals in the company at a fast

pace, and to achieve at the same time

for the company a fresh look and the

required ambition to be the driving

force enabling us to meet new and

ambitious purposes.”


Iconic Shakespeare design gets a new

lease of life

In 1974, Abram Games, one of Britain’s

greatest graphic designers, was commissioned

to make a fund-raising poster for the Royal

Shakespeare Company. His brilliant solution

was to become iconic: the face of Shakespeare

built up from the titles of all the plays as they

appear in the

First Folio

of 1664.

After his death, his daughter Naomi

discovered a mock-up he had made of a

flickbook using the now world-famous

design. A document also came to light listing

several additional objects her father had

planned, including an umbrella, mugs, a

jigsaw and glassware.

Now Games’ original project is finally

coming to life with the launch of


Shakespeare Flickbook,

with a range of

merchandise planned for the future.

The Shakespeare Flickbook: Comedies,

Histories and Tragedies

is published

by Pallas Athene Books on 23rd April,

Shakespeare’s birthday, price £8.99.



Spanish entrepreneur Amancio Ortega Gaona is the founder of fashion chain Zara. A self-

made man, Gaona started out in the textile industry, and in 1972 founded his first company,

producing and selling bathrobes. Today his worth is estimated in excess of £33 billion.