This Giant Floating Orb Is Built Out Of New York City’s Discarded Umbrellas

This Giant Floating Orb Is Built Out Of New York City’s Discarded Umbrellas

If you happen to be walking around the northern tip of Manhattan these days, you’ll see a strange sphere floating in the water near the Inwood Hill Park. From afar, it looks like a geodesic dome stitched together from thin slivers of metal, but inching closer, you’ll notice something startling. It’s made of trash.

That’s right. Husband-and-wife duo Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi built the so-called Harvest Dome 2.0 out of some 450 discarded umbrellas that they collected from trash cans and sidewalks around the city, and it’s kept afloat by dozens of empty two-liter soda bottles. But really you’d never know it was refuse based on how elegantly it blends into the landscape. However, it’s not just about the materials. “This is not ‘eco-art,'” Schachter told Fast Company. “That term is way too reductive. It’s closer to performance architecture, if you had to label it. It’s more about involving people.”

And it was a team effort. Harvest Dome 2.0 is so named because Harvest Dome 1.0 didn’t quite make it to its final destination. With funding from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Schachter and Levi actually built Harvest Dome 1.0 in the summer of 2011 and set it afloat on the Bronx River. However, due to inclement weather, it washed ashore on Riker’s Island, where the New York City Department of Corrections found and subsequently destroyed the work of art.

The couple took to Kickstarter to fund their second attempt at the project and raised more than their intended goal of $US7,500. They built the second 24-by-18 foot sculpture over the course of this summer and sent it on a different route down the river. It will be on display in the inlet of Inwood Hill Park for the month of August in what they call a “physical revelation of the city’s accumulated water-borne debris.” It’s also just an awesome thing to see floating around your local park. [Co.Design]

Images by Andreas Symietz