By Susmita Baral |
Los Angeles-based artist Stephen Glassman‘s Urban Air project aims to be “an artwork, a symbol and an instrument for a green future” by changing billboards into bamboo gardens, intelligent technology and global nodes.
Glassman has his hands on a donated billboard on a Los Angeles freeway. He plans to replace the facade with architecturally integrated planters that will host a live bamboo forest. Misters will keep the forest watered up. The floating forest will, without a doubt, be a stark contrast to the urban skyline for commuters. What’s more, the forest will be Wi-Fi enabled and have climate monitoring technology that will father and transmit data from the forest.
Urban Air is starting small with just one flagship billboard in Los Angeles, but plans to expand within LA and in major cities across the world as well. The team shares their goals on their website: “Upon a successful launch, it’s our plan and intention to transform the steel and wood of outdoor advertising to the infrastructure of urban sustainability in cities around the globe — actively, publicly, and collectively generating a green global future.”
The project has been designed, engineered, and sourced, but needs funding. If you’re interested in helping out, spread the word by follow them on Twitter, liking them on Facebook, and/or making a donation to their Kickstarter campaign!
Wondering who Stephen Glassman is and how he came across this unique idea? The Urban Air website shares:
LA-based sculptor Stephen Glassman first caught international attention in the early 1990’s when he began creating freeform, large-scale bamboo installations in urban sites devastated by the Rodney King Riots, Malibu Fires and Northridge Quake. These works became local community symbols of resiliency as well as a springboard for the permanent, award winning projects he creates today — art for art’s sake in a social context. Urban Air sprung directly from those siteworks. Immediately upon its debut, the tangibility of Urban Air inspired the collaboration of key vanguard professionals committed to achieve it as a reality. Urban Air achieved global recognition in 2011 with the winning of a London International Creativity Award.
Since then we’ve been working intensely with structural and environmental engineers, planners, media experts, billboard fabricators, bamboo growers, plumbers and outdoor advertising specialists to design and produce a full scale working prototype that assures not only a successful single prototype, but also generates a system kit that enables any standard billboard to be easily transformed to a green, linked, urban forest.
Find out more about this project with their introductory video: