Governors Island will be opening soon—a whole month sooner than usual, in fact—and when it does, the annual Figment art festival will return with it. Each year, the event’s centerpiece is its City of Dreams Pavilion, a project created by up-and-coming designers and chosen by architecture bigwigs, with the ultimate goal of “promot[ing] sustainability-oriented thinking amidst the architecture and design communities.” Both the materials used, and what happens to them once Figment is over, are intended to be eco-friendly.
This year’s winning design certainly fits the bill: Called “Cast & Place,” the pavilion will be pieced together from panels made of 300,000 recycled aluminium cans. They’ll be melted down and cast in huge clay molds, treated so that they’re cracked and create a pattern. (The clay will come from an excavation site in Flushing, Queens, and the molds will be created in wood frames—reclaimed, naturally.)
Its intention is to “re-imagine waste as a transformative resource for our New York City future.” Once the event is over, the panels will be recycled into decorative objects for supporters of the project.
About that last part: The group behind “Cast & Place,” called Team Aesop (actually a collaboration between several designers and engineers), launched a Kickstarter to help fund the project. Though they’ve received $3,000 so far, the group is hoping to raise $30,000 for materials and to help the fabrication and installation process.
Though they’ll source many cans from New Yorkers, for instance, they’ve also committed to purchasing 100,000 from Sure We Can, a Brooklyn nonprofit that provides support for canners (the folks you see collecting discarded cans throughout the city). The Kickstarter funds will help with that, among other action items.
And here’s where the recycling of the pavilion comes into play: Rewards for Kickstarter backers include tiles, benches, and even a trellis that will be made from the panels once the pavilion comes down. Neat, right?
Assuming all goes according to plan, the group will keep testing out the process of casting, and have everything in place for when Figment launches in early June.