Lorax view

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-5-35-18-pm Can you see the forest for the trees? Scottish artist Katie Paterson hopes so: her Hollow exists as a microcosm of all the forests ever on Earth, a miniature sprouting 10,000 unique tree species into a single sensory snapshot of bio-history. Commissioned by the University of Bristol and made in collaboration with architects Zeller + Moye, Hollow will live in perpetuity at the Royal Fort Gardens in Bristol, England. Paterson worked with evolutionary biologist Dr. Jon Bridle to collect tree samples from every country (including some now extinct). The cocoon-like enclosure accommodates one or two people at time as they contemplate the sweeping relationship between organic beings.

The artist’s desired effect: Standing “inside a forest of every forest” ever in existence. Much more than matchsticks, the installation includes a who’s who of tree-story: A sample from the mysterious 4,846-year-old Methuselah tree (found in California’s White Mountains); a trimming from the UNESCO-protect cedar trees of Lebanon (the favorite of Egyptian pharaohs); a branch from the Banyan Tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment; a shard from the Atlantic City Boardwalk destroyed by Hurricane Sandy; and an offcut from a Japanese Gingko tree that survived the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Hollow isn’t Paterson’s first foray into forests: in 2014, she launched Future Library, a project which will cultivate 1,000 trees over 100 years as an arboreal anthology. In every installation, she speaks for the trees.

Sharing means

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-10-39-27-am Caring about capsule concepts like this: Airbnb recently revealed a new evolution of its sharing economy. Slated to open this fall, the Yoshino Cedar House is a semi-communal space that nurtures relationships within its walls as well as within the rural Japanese community in which it resides. Designed by architect Go Hasegawa, the two-story building— entirely clad in local cedar trees—enables communal gathering on the ground floor with bedrooms upstairs. Meanwhile, inhabitants of Yoshino—a village in the rural Nara district of Japan—maintain the Airbnb listing, with proceeds reinvested in cultural organizations. A community incubator on multiple levels, the house addresses a pressing concern in rural Japan, as young professionals leave home for the cities, never to return.

The Yoshino Cedar House is the inaugural offering of Airbnb co-founder and CPO Joe Gebbia’s new design studio Samara, based in Tokyo, which endeavors to “bring together design and engineering experts from Airbnb to further avant-garde ideas and build advanced services that explore new areas of the Airbnb community.” If it works, the community house could be replicated elsewhere. Gebbia says: “We’ve sprouted our first seed with the Yoshino Cedar House,” Gebbia says, “and we’ve got a lot more on the way.”



Cool cats

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 2.28.48 PM Street art became island adornment when Ygor Marotta and Ceci Soloaga of VJ Suave enrolled in the Walk&Talk residency on São Miguel Island, part of the Azores in Portugal. The São Paulo-based duo projected their animalian animations on trees, cliffs and shores, capturing their interventions through nocturnal long-exposure GIFs. Go wildcats.

Starry night

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 6.43.27 PM  A star is born in mainland Penang, Malaysia. Steel cables – aglow in more than 500 meters of LED lights – pierce through a four-story cement building, a celestial jax in an urban nocturne. “The Star” is the “low-tech materials meets high-tech application” work of Malaysian artist Jun Hao Oan for the 2015 Urban Xchange public art festival in Penang. With stars twinkling from treetops this time of year, this colossal intervention feels like a welcome expansion to the luminary lexicon.