Field / 2021-ongoing
Jil Berenblum, Supermrin, Jessica Fertonani Cooke, Ane Gonzalez Lara, with support from Emily Gordon, and Merav Gil Ad.
Field is a research-led intervention that investigates the widespread use of manicured lawns in public spaces, turning grass clippings into biomaterials that then form organic sculptures, encouraging a cycle of life.
Field looks at Urban manicured grasses. They represent the homogeneity, control, and order visible in most contemporary civic spaces. They are ecologically unsustainable, require extensive resources, and comprise of mono-cultured, usually genetically modified seeds that do not flower. We have developed a consortium of grass-based (biodegradable) bioplastics that utilize lawn clippings harvested from our sites. In collaboration with city partners, we temporarily pause the routine mowing and fertilizing of civic lawns for one season. Bio-sculptures, impregnated with native wildflower seeds slowly dissolve into the growing grasses, introducing new birth cycles on the lawns. Generating unexpected encounters amongst people, birds, animals, weeds, and flowers, Field creates a living archive, a transitory zone of interaction between natural and constructed systems that reimagines the presence of the body within an ever-changing landscape.
I started by looking at old techniques in processing cellulose, such as paper making. I was then able to extract the cellulose from the grass and make pulp.
Using this pulp as a base, I experimented with combining different ingredients to get a range of material properties. 8 months in development:
1. paper from grass pulp 2. embedded plant matter in glycerin 3. grass pulp bioplastic 4.bleached pulp bioplastic 6. bleached pulp in starch bioplastic 7.bleached pulp in starch bioplastic 10. pulp in HV methylcellulose 11. grass pulp 12. extruded methylcellulose grass pulp 12. molded methylcellulose pulp 13. extruded carboxylmethylcellulose grass pulp 14. molded carboxylmethylcellulose/ grass pulp. 16. starchbioplastic/ grass pulp 17. starchbioplastic/ bleached grass pulp
CRAFTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES: Working with new materials has led us to redesign technologies. From using hand extruders to robotics we are trying to figure out the best mothod of fabricating with field biomaterials with less energy and no waste.
These are some first built protoypes with the biomaterial:
A partnership between artists, material scientists, architects, historians, design institutions, and local municipalities, the project interrogates the ways through which public urban projects are assessed and built. Presently focused on two sites in Governors Island and Oakland, the project will develop internationally on sites in São Paulo and New Delhi.
Communicating Climate Science, in partnership with Pratt Institute and Guerilla Science, July-September 2021.
Make it at home ︎︎︎
Make it at home ︎︎︎