According to the Recycling Revolution website, consumers in the United States discard 220,000,000 automobile tires per year. And that's just one country. With stats like this it is easy to embrace AnneMarie van Splunter's conceptual design for 'Rubber Tree', a playground that utilizes tires headed for landfills by re-purposing them as primary building materials.
Conceived as a playground for refugee children in Thailand, van Splunter’s ‘Rubber Tree’ envisions a play area constructed entirely of reused and sustainable materials. The recycled tires that give form to the tree are held in place by conjoined lengths of bamboo that thread throughout the structure without need for metal hardware. What’s more, van Splunter sees the tires as being used “from cradle to cradle”. “Tires are made from the latex of the rubber tree,” says van Splunter in her artist statement. “And now they have served their duty, becoming the sculpture of a rubber tree.”