This week, Phaidon Press and the avant-garde non-profit gallery White Box hosted a panel discussion concerning issues of sustainability in the worlds of art, architecture, and urban design. The panel featured two of Inhabitat’s favorite innovators who are truly changing the world with their ideas: David Turnbull, director of Atopia, and Maria Aiolova, founder of Terraform ONE and Terrefuge.
Atopia is a multi-faceted urban design organization, and Turnbull presented his incredible solution to the clean water shortage in Africa. He designed a soccer field with stands that are water permeable, so in rainy seasons, water is collected by cisterns under the field and harvested to become clean drinking or farming water. With the rainy season in many parts of Africa producing nearly 1.8 million liters of water, Turnbull predicts this system could provide for 1,000 people each day for an entire year. The field can also be used for events, concerts, or community meeting place.
Aiolova, another person that we’ve been watching for years, is perhaps best known for her involvement in the developing Fab Tree Hab project, where tree branches are woven together in a technique called “pleaching” to form arches and structures, bringing new meaning to the words “tree house.” These houses are revolutionary not only because they are sustainable but they require no use of energy to be built. Aiolova prefers the term “eco-effective” when referring to her work, as these houses contribute to the environment as much as they sustain themselves. They collect water, consume C02, and emit oxygen while serving as a shelter for humans and birds alike. She is at the forefront of green design and part of a growing force that is aimed toward using “ecological solutions for urban challenges.”
Together these two projects and countless others have both a green and artistic eye on the future of communities and design. This was the first in a series of upcoming dialogues and educational initiatives with White Box geared toward environmental practices and outreach. Visit White Box’s website for updates.
images from Jeesu Kim courtesy of White Box