X-ray images of flowers by researcher and designer Mathew Schwartz form the identity of this year's Dezeen Awards.
A micro-CT scanner uses a process called micro-computed X-ray tomography to create a series of tomograms, which are 2D images that reveal cross-sections of an object.
These images, which look similar to X-ray scans, can then be digitally combined to create a 3D model in a process similar to that used in CT (computerised tomography) and CAT (computerised axial tomography) scans.
Schwartz had been using a scanner at the institute to study the internal structure of plants as part of a research project.
"I was fortunate that my work as a researcher in a collaborative project helped me understand how to use the [micro-CT] machine," said Schwarz, who studied art and design, and has an MSc in architecture.
"At the same time, the university was open to [me] using such an expensive piece of research equipment for creative works."
"Everything I did with the micro-CT scanner was constrained by the chamber", said Schwartz, as the small size of the scanner limited the range of objects he could capture.
"There were a few obsessive weeks that I was going back and forth between the lab and a local hardware store, buying every miniature flower I could find, and seeing which ones fitted and imaged well in the machine," Schwartz added.
The Dezeen team felt that the images suggested celebration, since award winners often receive flowers, combined with creative originality.
"I think it is great that Dezeen chose this flower set," Schwartz said. "Everyone I speak with seems to have their own favourites."
Besides the black-and-white images, which resemble traditional X-rays, Schwartz has created coloured versions by adding splashes of colour manually using Photoshop.
The coloured images are used for Dezeen Awards' new sustainability and media categories, which can be entered now! Schwartz has also used the scanner to create images of other objects including hardware and electronics.
Dezeen Awards launched with its new identity on 2 February and is accepting entries until 9 June. Create an account or log in to enter Dezeen Awards 2021 now.