From a vacant space to an open Library and Workshop area: During Sukkot holiday we’ve been running the urban agriculture and gardening workshops with a combination of small and big scale creations: growing pipes, seed bombs, urban bees, owls, hanging gardens and mind-opening food growing methods. All these took place in the new “book stop” at the 7th floor of the Central Bus Station in Tel-Aviv.
More photos here on Onya Collective facebook page.
The events are organized by Onya Collective in collaboration with South District, Municipality of Tel-Aviv – Jaffa, Tel Aviv Central Bus Station and The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel.
* Part of Next Station events, WorldWide Storefront at Storefront for Art and Architecture, New-York. More details here: http://wwstorefront.org/
On Saturday night we launched the opening of WWSf Tel-Aviv, at the Central Bus Station:
Initial interventions for the Next Station popped-up like mushrooms in prominent locations within the Tel-Aviv Central Bus Station in the past weeks. These are 5 of over 30 works selected and developed with artists and companies responding to our open call this summer and digitized in an innovative in-building street-view panorama index.
A Vertical Tea Garden, Growing Mashrabiyeh, Lego Planters, Book Station and a Bamboo Geodome soon to be covered with plants. High exposure of these locations, on routes of tens of thousands of commuters and local residents, means constant interaction and random conversations.
Passengers stop and wonder, smell herbs and ask ; Homeless come to sleep ; Workers and shop owners offer help and coffee ; stray cats sniff and chew greens ; friends and volunteers drill and plant ; and municipality executives seek ways to adopt the initiative to push it forward.
Friends, participating artists and close partners came to eat fruit and nuts, on the vertical tea garden and free public library we’ve put up across the information desk, hear about what’s there and what will be during the next two months. Then we went on a tour, up to the highest and down to the lowest dungeons in the stomach of the concrete monster. Before climbing out through an underground arcade of unregistered night clubs for illegal foreign immigrants, we held a short meditation session within one of six abandoned cinema halls, dusty and dark, 20 meters beneath the street level.
Eerie and uncomfortable, disorienting and fascinating, dirty and attractive, this is how many experience the Central Bus Station, a sunken concrete ship within a sea of social, economical and architectural problems. Now, it’s dotted with a few marks of optimism.
The Vertical Tea Garden > Work in progress + how it works + it grows!
Will be located at the 7th floor of Tel Aviv Central Bus Station // WWSf Tel aviv.
The Pipe Huggers
Many of us shared a fascination to vertical agriculture, the fact that you can stack plants, hang them on walls and they’ll adapt, blossom and provide. perfect for city dwellers. So we’ve experimented with PVC pipes we found in the street, and vertical guerrilla gardening came out.
What’s the story of these magenta pipes?
The scale changed after a trip to a pipe factory in the north of Israel. The original purpose of these pipes is municipal infrastructure and pink is the code for effluent re-used water. The factory introduced us to their assembly line and the waste material that cannot be recycled and is currently shipped far from sight to China. In other words – dead material which will take centuries to decompose.
With a little help of friends we’ve managed to ship some pipes down to Tel-Aviv, and examine the behaviour of this sassy material. Soon it became one of our favourite objects to work with – upcycling, creating different prototypes of vertical gardens and experimenting with the communal effect. Now we got to know the neighbours, talk to strangers and surprise some random pessimists. The open development process included industrial designers, architects, agronomists and urban farmers, one clever physician, neighbours, and other members composing Onya Collective.
A /Prototype 1 – Jaffa, Margoza st. / Guerilla Public Garden
B / Prototype 2 – Vegi-Bench, with Ghana Think Tank, ‘The Infiltrators’, Artport Tel-Aviv.
C / Irrigation + Structure
In summer months, a well known hazard in Tel-Aviv is air conditioners dripping large amounts of waste water on sidewalks and on people’s heads. A capillarity based low-tech vertical irrigation system, with no need for pumps or computers, has been developed to make smart use of the waste water and distribute it between planters, using the strong plastic structure as columns hiding a reservoir.
D / The 20 meter long Vertical Tea Garden – in progress
Will be presented at the WWSf opening in Tel-Aviv / New York
Movements such as Urban Agriculture, Guerilla Gardening and Micro Gardening have been expanding globally and redefining what nature means in a city. These alternative communities attempt to incorporate natural eco-systems into the city through a variety of activist methods. Many of these experiments still seek the right balance between technical viability, sustainable production and aesthetic design.
The Neve Shaanan neighborhood in south Tel Aviv is plagued with severe social and racial problems. In the heart of the neighborhood stands the ‘New Central Bus Station’, one of the most hated buildings in Israel. The oversized, half abandoned building, mainly inflated by 1,500 pre-sold shops that funded the construction, was the largest bus terminal in the world from the beginning of its construction in 1967 until it was overtaken by Delhi in 2010. CBS is notorious for a mile long elevated ramp connecting the air polluting terminal to the nearby highway, a maze-like circulation system and sealed facades aimed at getting people to wander endlessly between shops.
Through acts of green acupuncture, a series of horticultural and agricultural interventions will be placed in select locations within the dissonant context of the massive and polluted concrete building, hosting thousands of buses and people each day. Some of the works will be built by Onya collective while others have been selected through an open call for artists, farmers and small and innovative agricultural partners throughout summer of 2014.
In the next few months we hope to raise public awareness locally and globally regarding these issues:
Re-purposing of abandoned and low value urban areas towards positive change through small interventions
Creation of sustainable systems that tap into the excess capacity in the urban infrastructure and make use of its potential
Building and sustainment of a community through collaborative endeavors
The use of art, nature and digital media as interactive tools to engage people in the act of shaping their city
Experimentation, discovery, and the sharing and dissemination of knowledge in the increasingly relevant field of urban farming