Urban Tumbleweed

Tumbleweed, Urban Style

An art object created as a statement for Next Nature, a one week course at the Department of Industrial Design. “Next Nature is culturally emerged nature, it is the nature caused by human culture. That may sound like a contradiction, but really, it isn’t. Our technological world has become so intricate and uncontrollable that it has become a nature of its own. This means we have to re-investigate our notion of nature.
It seems that yesterday’s leaves are being replaced by today’s garbage in the streets. This garbage is turning into a natural feature of our environment, we become more familiar with a coke can or McDonalds wrapping than with leaves of the few trees in the cities. This garbage, Urban garbage, is becoming our next nature. It is invading our streets like a modern tumbleweed, effectively creating a phenomenon known as Urban Tumbleweed.

The Art Piece

Düsseldorf vs Eindhoven

This Urban Tumbleweed creates a footprint of a city. To illustrate this footprint, Urban Tumbleweeds were constructed using genuine trash from the streets of both Düsseldorf and Eindhoven. Though the results appear similar, they offer a lot of detail when being observed from a closer perspective.

In the end the question remains: what would Urban Tumbleweed from another continent look like?

The Urban Tumbleweed Team

Urban Tumbleweed is a collaboration of: Guus Baggermans, Brian Garret Schuur and Jan van der Asdonk.


completed in: October, 2008
time spent on project: 1 week saturated with the smell of garbage
stakeholders: Department of Industrial Design and Next Nature
links: blogged by Bruce Sterling at Wired, posted in Orion Magazine, and at Next Nature

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