Gardens in Galleries & Architecture from Recycled Materials


I don’t mean for this to be such a lazy post/reblog, but there’s a few images I’ve been meaning to post for a while. I figured they were good reference points for our magnetic planters project, among others, given the variety of display and function of these planters and the use of recycled materials (see below). So, consider this less any sort of critical discussion of these works, and more just a compilation of image research for stuff we’re doing and would like to do. That being said, I’d highly recommend following the links throughout to read more about the projects.

First up, pictured above is, “The Hanging Smoking Garden”, 2007 by Mikala Dwyer from vvork.

Continue reading “Gardens in Galleries & Architecture from Recycled Materials”

University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture: Undulating Planters

University of Waterloo's School of Architecture

Danielle and I spent the day at the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture with the DodoLab team planning out a project that will take place in PEI near the end of August. Near the side of the building in this kind of walkway between two parts of the school, we saw this installation, completed by a 4th year architecture class.

The installation consists of a huge number of used coffee cups, chicken wire, and transplanted grasses and flowers. It undulates mildly until reaching the rail for the steps (in the right-side of the photo) where the planters climb the rail. The chicken wire is supported by other coffee cups and those cardboard heat-shields.

We didn’t get to speak to anyone who worked on this project, but it was another great reference for our own ongoing research.

Urban Camping

urban camping

Architecture firm, Import Export, came up with a structure specifically designed for urban camping. The mobile architecture is meant to be dropped into urban spaces to provide new opportunities for for overnight city experiences.

There are a lot more photos that do the project better justice.

Long ago, we talked about urban camping, but we certainly never discussed this level of infrastructure. Maybe this project is slightly more realistic than the way I’m imagining urban camping in Windsor, but it’d be a shame if no one utilized any of the newly created acquired naturalized areas across the city for a makeshift campsite.

[via rebel:art]

Selective Architecture – Richard Galpin

Richard Galpin

As I stumbled on the work of Richard Galpin, I wondered about the possibilities of creating hand-made or photographic experiments with Windsor’s architecture to help understand and interpret Windsor’s architectural setting. I believe that these types of activity could help us design projects involving commentary of our physical surroundings. Here are a few words to describe Richard’s working process.

Richard Galpin’s complex art works are derived from the artist’s own photographs of chaotic cityscapes. Using only a scalpel Galpin intricately scores and peels away the emulsion from the surface of the photograph to produce a radical revision of the urban form. The artist allows himself no collaging, or additions of any kind – each delicate work is a unique piece made entirely by the erasure of photographic information.”

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Detroit UnReal Estate Community Lab

Detroit UnReal Estate Agency

Detroit UnReal Estate Agency has been making some considerable headway in their project that aims at “new types of urban practices (architectural, artistically, institutional, everyday life, etc) that came into existence, creating a new local ‘normality’ and a new value system in the city of Detroit.

For a while, I had some difficulty in pinning down exactly what the Agency was doing—certainly, they were doing research and writing on Detroit and its history and current conditions and putting up custom real estate signs  indicating specific unrealities. Beyond that though, I had some difficulty in understanding what the project was, likely limited by my own capacity in keeping up with their site and a fluctuating amount of posting ranging from solely photographs to heavier lengthy texts.

However, they’ve recently been very active again, no doubt thanks to the visit of their Dutch counterparts. They’ve recently published on their blog, a new strategic plan of sorts. Their most recent post reads, “One plan we’re working on now is a combination of a new masterplan + a cooperative ownership system + a business plan – A Community Lab.

This is incredibly exciting! Crisis leads to ingenuity.

National Grass Theatre

National Theatre

The National Theatre in London, England completed another reiteration of living architecture display, this time a temporary grass covering consisting of some 2 billion seeds. Imagine covering the face of one of our parking garages with grass and leaving a concrete message sans grass. 

National Theatre‘s Lyttelton flytower (“flytower” is a part of a theatre above the stage), which is the artists’ largest exterior work to date, is the embodiment of Malevich idea in architecture, only it’s green and alive (though for a limited time). Sponsored by Bloomberg and produced by Artsadmin, this $100,000 “living’ installation has transformed the well-known London landmark into a vertical green marvel.” Continue reading “National Grass Theatre”

Dour Power [Nathan Coley]

Nathan Coley – Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens (2008)
Nathan Coley – Heaven Is a Place Where Nothing Ever Happens (2008)

Since one of the recurring project ideas for BCL has been to “send a message to Detroit” (though this particular wording sounds decidedly menacing, which is hilarious and probably unintentional), and since one of the ideas for accomplishing this was to build a lighted sign that would be visible across the Detroit River, I thought it might be appropriate to bring Glaswegian artist Nathan Coley into the discussion.

Nathan Coley – There Will Be No Miracles Here (2006)
Nathan Coley – There Will Be No Miracles Here (2006)

Coley is perhaps best known for his incandescent light signs, such as these, and, while the tenor of his work is decidedly more dour than much of what the Lab sets out to do, his work does bring to bear certain issues that might be of interest. In particular, his work explores the ways in which modes of public address—particularly architecture—constitute articulations of collective desire and belief, the “values” of a place. Coley himself has a particular chip on his shoulder re: organized religion (which I, for one, appreciate), but some of the issues he works through might be more broadly-applicable, just the same.

If Broken City means to “disrupt and engage the city,” it’s important first to have a sense of what values are embodied in the existing structures and infrastructure of that city. I’m quite sure I’ve spent a good deal less time thinking about this than many of the other people here, but, so far as I can tell, Windsor’s public front would seem to suggest a firm conviction in the redemptive potential of (1) the automobile, (2) the Casino, (3) trans-border truck traffic, and (4) massage parlors. It’s not quite the historical God and country business that Coley contends with, but I don’t see any reason why the tactics he employs couldn’t be as well-suited to the interrogation of a strip mall as they are to places of worship, etc.

Anyway, this interview, given on the occasion of his nomination for the 2007 Turner Prize, is definitely worth a look, as are pieces like this one from 2006 where he makes use of dazzle camouflage (a geometric camouflage pattern developed in Britain by artist Norman Wilkinson and used extensively during World War I).

Nathan Coley – We Must Cultivate Our Garden (2007)
Nathan Coley – We Must Cultivate Our Garden (2007)

Truth from Poland

Installation / intervention by Truth in Wroclaw, Poland

Using found plexiglass, PVC, and other found materials, Truth has put up a number of installations around Poland, most recently in places outside of cities. His earlier work is more geometric, often cubes, and small squares coming out of buildings; little additions to the architecture where he tests the public’s perception of a known space.