Great design transcends the coolness factor and makes us re-examine the places and objects we see everyday. One company, Macro-Sea, is launching community-oriented projects that are clever, fun and utopian in their ambition.
Last year Macro-Sea conceived of the Dumpster Pool. The designers constructed what they call a “lo-fi country club” in a trash-filled lot in Brooklyn. The mini oasis consisted of three adjacent swimming pools made out of repurposed dumpsters. Imbued with the DIY spirit, the project was cheap and easy to assemble. A local construction company donated the lightly used dumpsters, which were then cleaned and lined with plastic. A filtration system was also installed. An unpaid crew assembled the project in exchange for the right to use it. The space was also made homey with the addition of Ikea garden furniture, grills, a bocci court and music via an ipod and speakers. The Dumpster Pool is a prototype for a larger project: Macro Sea envisions duplicating this low budget, recreational space in strip malls across America.
The idea of placing everyday objects in liminal spaces and somehow creating attractive community centers is delightful and inspiring. Unfortunately, like real country clubs, the Brooklyn project was a wee bit more exclusive than one might have hoped. Last summer, the space hosted a series of lectures and cool events but all were private. There is something a bit unpleasant about a low-budget, pseudo-populist art space that restricts access to the hip and fabulous.
This year, Macro-Sea has topped their previous project with a new experiment titled Glassphemy! (the exclamation point is part of the title). The company built a 20-foot-high, 30-foot-long bullet-proof glass and steel box which it describes as a “visceral and psychological recycling center.” In other words, a participant can stand on one end of a long hollow box and hurl bottles at a friend who is safely protected by a glass wall. The broken contents of this strange contraption will then be recycled into other art projects.
Macro-Sea is working in conjunction with the uber-hip DIY home improvement site, ReadyMade to hold a contest allowing participants to suggest creative uses for the resultant broken glass. The entry deadline is June 4th. The winning design will be featured in ReadyMade magazine. Macro-Sea will also build two copies of it. One will be be displayed at the Glassphemy! location site. The other will be sent to the winning participant.
Glassphemy! will open on May 20th on the lot in Brooklyn where the Dumpster pool once stood. At the end of its run, it will be moved or recycled.