It was a true eco-challenge: Merge modern urban architecture with greenscapes to engage the public.
Yet David Mah and Leire Asensio, visiting lecturers at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and their students rose to the challenge, coming up with an intricately carved garden wall that incorporates moss into its hollows. The lattice-like sturdy wall, called Surface Deep, was featured at the 2012 Grand Metis International Garden Festival Show in Quebec. A sister spiral twisted planter was featured at the 2012 Canada Blooms garden show in Toronto.
Mah and Asenio attempt to merge the landscape and ecology into city planning so the concrete world is not completely cut off from the natural environment.
“Simply putting moss on roofs prevents heat and run-off from spilling into cities, so (urban areas) have a less destructive effect on the local environment,” said Asensio in a press release.
The pair worked closely with students to create the structures, which placed different types of moss in the Surface Deep sculpture’s crevices.
“We’re essentially creating micro-climates in the same structure,’’ said Mah. “These ideas could be applied to buildings with vertical green walls applied to buildings.”
The structures were made out of Celtec Ultra White, a PVC material that was easy to fabricate, carve and work with, the designers said. The Quebec installation is still being shown in that city.
We wanted to “engage people with the notion that the sculptures are something they appreciate for their beauty and want to interact with,’’ said Asenio, adding their design efforts focus on getting “urban areas to interact with ecologies, with the people that live within it, and with the larger environment.”
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Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
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