Vertical Gardens

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Musée du Quai Branly Vertical Garden
The Living Tower Digital Rendering
Vertical Gardens

475 Tenth Ave.
10018 New York
March 28th, 2009 - May 23rd, 2009
Opening: March 28th, 2009 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

212 966 7745
rendering, architecture, gardens, botany, mixed-media, photography, digital


A project of SEA (Social Environmental Aesthetics), Vertical Gardens is an exhibition of architectural models, renderings, drawings, photographs and ephemera that depict or imagine a vertical farm, urban garden or green roof. It features over 20 projects, both imaginary and real, by artists and architects that envision solutions for building greener urban environments. The highlight of this exhibition is an eight-foot high living green wall by Edmundo Ortega and Dianne Rohrer.

The past decade has seen a greater emergence of green roofs and vertical gardens created by artists, designers, architects and urban gardeners to combat the lack of flora in the city. Buildings around the world — from the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, to the Queens Botanical Garden in New York — have embraced green walls or roofs for all their economical, environmental, and aesthetic values. Vertical farms and gardens are also being envisioned as new ways to feed local and organic foods to city dwellers. Largely based on the principles of hydro-ponics, vertical gardens would also be mostly self-sustaining because they would capture large amounts of natural sunlight and water, and could use wind as an energy source. In a country where cities are suffocated by high rises, cement and industrial materials, where can green space exist? As this exhibition demonstrates, one possible answer is “up.”

These and other urban parks and gardens provide areas for socialization and recreation; a location for a city farm or community land-trust; an outlet through which hundreds of people can learn about farming and agriculture; and the addition of much needed plant and animal life to the otherwise concrete jungle.

This exhibition also features photographic documentation of existing buildings containing vertical farms, gardens or green roofs, including those by Hundertwasser; Renzo Piano with Chong Partners and Stantec; Emilio Ambasz & Associates; Humpert Wolnitzek; Chad Oppenheim Architecture and Design; Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, Downs/Archambault & Partners, LMN Architects; Scandinavian Green Roof Institute; Conservation Design Forum of Chicago and Atelier Dreieitl of Germany; Enrique Browne and Borja Huidobro with Ricardo Judson and Rodrigo Iturriaga; and others.




A FREE two-day event celebrating Earth Day 2009.


5 – 6:30pm:

Dickson D. Despommier, Professor of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences and Microbiology at Columbia University, will talk about his work as the Founder and Director of the Vertical Farm Project, looking at how agriculture can be adapted and integrated into city living. Free. Cash bar.


James Wines, Founder/President of SITE, Environmental Design, gives a talk on the “Economy of Means”, which looks at ways to meet the demands of economic crisis, energy efficiency and sustainable design, without a loss of aesthetic quality. It credits some of the most revolutionary triumphs of the 20th century including Picasso’s collage, Duchamp’s conceptual art, Le Corbusier’s “machines for living in” and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonion houses which confirm that big ideas can frequently be realized through a great economy of means. The information also covers a selection of materially and environmentally prudent contributions to the Radical Architecture movement of the 70s and 80s. The program concludes with a range of innovative proposals for the present era; including buildings and public spaces that use frugality itself as an inspirational raw material. Free. Cash bar.



The Lower East Side Ecology Center hosts a FREE indoor composting workshop. Learn how to set up and maintain a worm bin in your apartment. Full compost bin setups will be available at $55 each, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration recommended. To register, please call 212-477-3155 or email


SEA Poetry Series, No. 1

Kicking off our SEA Poetry Series, poet Jonathan Skinner will read a selection of his poems and present a talk on “third landscapes,” entropoetics, and the coming planetary Pangea-garden on invasive futures. Q & A and reception to follow. Conceived and organized by E.J. McAdams, poet and Associate Director of Philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy, New York City. Free. Cash bar.

For more information on these and other programs, or for more information on upcoming SEA exhibitions, please visit


This exhibition is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bloomberg LP, Carnegie Corporation, Jerome Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, O'Grady Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Public Funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, Starry Night Fund at The Tides Foundation, Exit Art’s Board of Directors and our members.