Building a City for Plants, Inspired by NYC

© *HB* Collaborative / Med44

On TreeHugger, we talk a lot about bringing more greenery into cities. This project takes a different approach: it aims to create a city just for plants. "Plant-In City" is an art installation of modular, stack-able terrariums that will evoke human architecture and technology, inspired by life in New York City.

The project is the work of design studio *HB* Collaborative and media architecture firm Med44. It has been in the works since September 2011, when the idea to create a miniature world that evokes the balance between the fabricated world humans have created and the natural world that still surrounds our cities first came up.

"I'm never going to leave New York City, but I still love nature," says Huy Bui of *HB*. This is a shot at having both in one.

© *HB* Collaborative / Med44

The creators describe their vision:

To live a more sustainable lifestyle. This begins by bringing nature inside to our everyday urban environment. We are looking to create the first "Green City," where plants populate structures inside a gallery space in Manhattan. We envision a dense, bustling lush skyline, where water flows from one terrarium to another.

© *HB* Collaborative / Med44

It's a tricky concept to wrap your head around, but in person (I visited a preview, small-scale installation), it makes a lot more sense. The terrariums are like neighborhoods. Together they stack up and around one another to make a greater whole. The watering of the plants is controlled by a smartphone app; everything (including the LEDs there for lighting) will be powered by solar, wind and hydraulic power.

The goal is to develop a large-scale Plant-In City installation in a gallery in New York; the team has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 by the end of June to make that possible.

The long-term goal is to have others create their own Plant-In City installations. The team intends on making all of their work open-source, so individuals can make whatever little city they like- and even put it to work growing vegetables.

Tags: Arts | Gardening | New York City

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