Future Green Studio


Invisible Ecologies

Pittsburgh, PA


INVISIBLE ECOLOGIES seeks to reveal the latent potential for human, plant, and wildlife interaction within our constructed urban environment. Like a plant emerging through a concrete sidewalk, so too can wildlife adapt to live among our harshest urban conditions.

Building on works of artists and designers in Allegheny Riverfront Park like Ann Hamilton and Michael Van Valkenburgh, this sculpture repositions materials of our urban environment like concrete, graffiti, and salvaged objects aggregated on a series of steel pedestals in a cloud-like form reminiscent of a flock of birds. These assemblages are not just relics of our current anthropogenic condition, they transform as birdhouses. Each “house” is carefully designed with a ventilated wooden interior to play host to native river-edge bird species, like eastern bluebird, house wrens, purple martins, tree swallows, and black-capped chickadees, amongst others.

This installation is an attempt at soft alchemy where the carbon-intensive materials that we’ve used to limit and destroy natural ecological systems transform into objects of possibility and hope. These forward-thinking trajectories offer a sense of intimate immensity that connects a person to nature, site to region, and urban to wild.

Photo Credit: Heather Mull; K. Taro Hashimura