Grass = Art and Function

There is something about sitting on fresh grass that can’t quite be explained. Whether it is nostalgia for youth or the sun that is likely beaming down on you, or the fact that the human visual system is most sensitive to picking up green light, we feel good there.

But most urban landscapes do not provide tons of acreage to lay around in the grass, save for certain designated park space  with perfectly trimmed, fertilizer loaded grass, adorned with “keep off the grass,” warnings. Those signs make me so sad. Floating_Green

In a sort of, “Keep on the grass,” vein, artist and architect Ling Fan is playing with this idea a bit, exploring how we can get the feel good benefits of lying in grass, without being in a rural or suburban place.  In Shanghai, China, he has just completed “Floating Green,” a public installation that invites passerbys to use the green space, to sit on it, to eat lunch there, etc.  Quite simply, he is combining something we already have access to: benches, with something we need more of: grass. To gain more insight into his project, read the words of the wise one himsel. One idea of his that I am having a hard time wrapping my head around is, “Lawns are little like urbanism in China; they consume little material, and cover large areas in a short time.” Cities actually consume HUGE amounts of resources, but I’m trying to look at this from a conceptual lens and maybe not the academic, factoid side of things. Will be interesting to see how long this bench stays alive…from both the conceptual lens as well as the biological.

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