Invisible Ecologies is a public art installation by Future Green Studio along the Allegheny waterfront in downtown Pittsburgh. Future Green is a design collective in Brooklyn, NY whose work is focused on the intersection of art, ecology, and urbanism. This project is in collaboration with Clear Story and is supported by Riverlife and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Invisible Ecologies seeks to reveal the latent potential for human, plant, and wildlife interaction within the constructed urban environment. Like a plant emerging through a crack in a concrete sidewalk, wildlife, too, can adapt and thrive in the harshest urban conditions. This sculpture repositions man-made materials found in the urban environment -- objects like concrete, graffiti, and discarded plastic and glass -- and aggregates them into a series of structures mounted on steel pedestals. The piece is arranged in a cloud‐like form reminiscent of a flock of birds along a path in Allegheny Riverfront Park. These assemblages are not just relics of the current anthropogenic condition but are also living structures offering the opportunity for renewal and resilience. Each “house” is carefully designed with a ventilated wooden interior to provide shelter to native river‐edge bird species like eastern bluebird, house wrens, purple martins, tree swallows, and black‐capped chickadees, among others.
This installation is an attempt at soft alchemy, a process through which the carbon‐intensive materials that humans have used to limit and destroy natural ecological systems are transformed into objects of possibility and hope; offering a sense of intimate immensity that connects people to nature, site to region, and urban to wild.
This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).