Eco Design Graduates 2005 — Reenchanting the City

After the reenchantment of our knickers comes the reenchantment of a more exterior kind. To be specific, the exterior world that is our urban environment. Clare Cunningham is as similarly disillusioned about the bleak appearances of our city streets as her fellow Eco-Design graduate Anna Hillman, whose Amazingness project we wrote about last week. While Anna produced a book highlighting details of nature which surround us each day, Clare has chosen a different way to redress the problem of being cut off from nature in our cities. She has identified common eyesores on our streets, such as discarded old rotting sofas or abandoned shopping trolleys, and transformed them into beautiful verdant objects. The old sofa has been stripped down and reupholstered with hemp and sewn with grass. Soon this will be a beautifully green and comfortable community bench. The abandoned shopping trolley has been transformed into a mobile garden – planted with gorgeous flowers that would brighten up anyone’s day making them grateful, not resentful, that someone left it there. Clare is also aware of the often harsh nature of graffiti and advertising billboards on our city walls. She offers an alternative with her ‘green graffiti’. Using a solution with moss seeds, motifs can be painted or stencilled on to walls. This moss graffiti will not only grow green and luscious with time, but will also bring new softer textures to our streets – enchanting indeed. ::reenchanting the city [Leonora & Petz]