Adding some Green to Design, Literally

I’m working on a project that explores biodiversity as a possible metric for sustainability within design. It’s an interesting concept and I’m curious to know what the end success would look like. Integrating more “nature” directly into design is a great vision, but exactly what sort of nature is going to be an interesting discussion. I’ve begun to collect more examples of design that literally uses nature within the design. Some of these are playful and some of them are doing their best to make pragmatic arguments for the inclusion of greenery. Enjoy!

The Value of a Forest and Condo Tower

images © boeri studio (stefano boeri, gianandrea barreca, giovanni la varra) - from design boom: showing the proposed structures with a cross section with full grown trees.

The Vertical Forest by Stefano Boeri is an ambitious condominium tower under construction that includes full grown trees integrated into the balcony. Moving beyond a formalist statement of having the beauty of trees, the architects have made a case for the improved functionality these trees bring. Included in the link are detailed diagrams showing proposed improvement in air quality, wind protection, shade and more. My favourite is below:

image © boeri studio (stefano boeri, gianandrea barreca, giovanni la varra) from design boom: excellent images showing the desired functionality of the trees

Excitingly, the building is currently under construction. I’m looking forward to seeing the results emerge over the next few years.

Opportunistic Urban Planting

image from Natalie Jeremijenko: showing the NoPARK park in "action"

This is an old favourite of mine for it’s cheekiness and brilliant logic. Natalie Jermijenko, environmental activist and designer, proposes to plant gardens in the front of every fire hydrant in New York City. Since cars aren’t allowed to park there, the spaces are going unused, and since the fire hydrants are only used in emergency, the gardens are likely to live a long time before being trampled by a few trucks. And of course, once the chaos is cleared, with a little patching up the garden could be back to it’s full health again. The project is call NoPARK, and if you visit the link here, you can see an excellent clip walking through the genius logic of the project.

The Pothole Gardner

image from design boom by steve wheen: detail of a pothole that has been "gardened"

Taking the above idea to extremes is a project by Steve Wheen to fill potholes in London with tiny miniature gardens. More playful yet, the gardens come with scale models of details such as lawnmowers and phone booths. The Pothole Gardner is a great statement on having fun with all the cracks in the sidewalk.

The Grass is Greener at Dinner

image by alan tansey from design boom: 'picNYC' by haiko cornelissen architecten

I’ve always wanted to have an urban apartment with a grass floor, although I’ll admit I’m almost more excited about designing the internal daylighting that would make it possible. This cheeky table by Alan Tansey is a nice start in that direction. I like the idea of growing sprouts in my Lawn Table and adding them to the salad as we go along.

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One Comment on “Adding some Green to Design, Literally”

  1. […] Adding some Green to Design, Literally:: An interesting post at the Bouncing Ideas blog discussing the many ways to add green to the urban environment. […]


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