A Cup of Tree – Installation

2 Posted by - July 8, 2015 - Exhibitions, Hafencity University Hamburg, Projects

Between April and July 2015, we were participating on a seminar called “WASTE ARCHITECTURE – building a shelter”. The course is described as follows:

“Major topics of the seminar is to develop a design concept for an innovative shelter from urban waste measuring approximately 2m x 2m x 2m. For this, first with the basics of recycling units worked in architecture. The next step is to collect urban waste and to test recycling methods by addition. After these preparations, it comes to creating the actual term task. Different designs are developed initially in groups of two students each, one of these is selected for a realization.”  Sabine Kühnast // lecturer

Together with Oskar Görg, Andrea Henriquez, Cindy Hoffmeister, Antonina Kriuger, Matthew Miller, Mario Sermeno,  we collected urban waste all over the city – be it the wooden fruit boxes from Hamburg`s fish market, cardboard tubes from printer shops or disposable paper cups in our university. For the various materials, we developed  different design ideas, including suggestions & mock-ups for joints as well as estimations of the amount of material needed. In our small but pleasant group, a variety of really fascinating proposals were elaborated. We decided to develop further ideas that included coated paper coffee cups, because they are available en masse at HCU – per week about 3`500 cups are given away – and represent somehow a part of HCU`s identity. Hence, for the last few weeks we sorted the university`s trash bins and picked out disposed cups. These cups were then washed, dried and stored.

Since we were quite surprised about the massive amount of served non-recyclable paper cups,  we started to reflect on disposable coffee cups. In the end, we spontaneously decided to transform the entire idea of the seminar: instead of a shelter we wanted to build an installation, which reveals some surprising facts about coated paper coffee cups. With the installation – and especially with its infographics – we wanted to raise awareness about disposable paper cups and their consequences.

The installation – called “a Cup of Tree” – is now composed of these elements:

  • LEAF CANOPY: made of 900 collected coated paper cups // stapled together // 23 canopies in various sizes
  • TRUNK: one of the exhibition hall`s concrete columns // draped with 10 infographics about various coffee cups (predominantly about disposable paper cups) // characteristics, consequences as well as alternative possibilities to free paper cups are shown
  • ROOTS: made of orange tape // each root ending with a picture of the design process

a Cup of Tree is exhibited from July 6th to July 8th 2015 at the exhibition hall of HafenCity University, Hamburg. Furthermore, it is planned to be exhibited at the “Science Night Hamburg” (Nacht des Wissens) as well as at the annual exhibition of HCU, both in November 2015.

Attached some pictures about the entire class as well as a short movie – shot & cut by Gionatan – about “a Cup of Tree“:



Photographs: All rights reserved