In the third iteration of the BFA Architectural Design elective, a multidisciplinary team of New School students, including BFA Architectural Design, Product Design, Interior Design, and BA Food Studies students, together with graduate research assistants from Design and Technology and Lighting Design. Students created a multilevel planter and seating area that prioritizes sustainable thinking, modularity, and openness.
Recycled Commercial Fishing Net is used throughout the project for seating, holding the custom designed planters, and acting as a screen to the street while maintaining visual transparency. The netting is reclaimed from 80’x2000’ nets used by commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico. Made of nylon, it is durable and provides a playful, interactive component to traditional public seating.
The modules are constructed of western red cedar. The wood was chosen for its beauty, versatility, and sustainable qualities. Cedar is naturally rot resistant and does not require any sealant, making it well-suited to withstand the challenges of the urban environment. It is a renewable resource and biodegradable, minimizing the environmental impacts of construction. Cedar is naturally aromatic and its oils also repels insects. The 21 custom designed coconut fiber/jute planters and tree pit contain 13 different plant species, including herbs, grasses and native plants, which were selected for their hardiness, fragrance, color, and to attract pollinators. Plants include lavender, thyme, rosemary, sage, calamint, spearmint, purple fountain grass, multiple species of echinacea and dwarf butterfly bushes.
The planters were sewn together with assistance from Parsons School of Fashion. They create a natural boundary with the street to reduce noise pollution. Seeds from the Greenbelt Native Plant Center were sown broadcast throughout the tree pit.
Students: Cohaul Chen, Naz Ertugrul, Elliott A. Flood-Johnson, Rafael Gedanke Flaksberg, Doyoung Kim (Doissac), Hyunjung Kim (Jay), Meagan Mo, Evalina Patino, Simran Kaur Rajpal, Bahata Saha, Helen Yoo
TA: Alyson Thompson
RAs: Longze Xia (Max), Mreenmoy Paul (Mreen)
Instructors: Nicole De Feo, Eric Fuester
The project is funded by a The New School’s school-based grant and Department of Transportation.
Support was provided by:
GREENBELT NATIVE PLANT CENTER
GREENWOOD ROBINSON LANDSCAPE DESIGN BUILD
SILMAN STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS
VAN HOUTEN FARMS
WESTCO FG CORP