Some weeks ago we highlighted the Freezing Favela, an artist community in Amsterdam that’s building an indoor favela in a huge industrial hall. Different kinds of projects are stacked together here, creating an interesting urban micro-climate. One of the projects built during the Freezing Favela event is a pigeon fertilizing tower made from recycled paper.
Generally pigeons are considered a huge problem in central urban areas. They are dirty, can be really annoying, and their shit is all over the place when you’ve got them on your balcony. But they can also be very useful, according to the artist behind this project, Arne Hendriks. Their excreta are very fertile, for instance. Hendriks’s project regards a design for a huge fertilizing tower for pigeons, constructed out of paper bricks.
The making of the tower starts with the production of bricks from old newspapers that are made wet with water. Stacked together, the bricks work a a palace for pigeons to live in. Doing so they will leave their shit in the construction instead of somewhere else. Combined with the paper this pigeon shit will be a powerful fertilizer for agricultural purpose in other parts of the Favela. Arne Hendriks is working on the project together with other designers in a series of workshops. Recently we visited the Freezing Favela and we can tell that loads of bricks lay to dry at the moment. The tower will be built in the favela as a part of the urban micro-cycle that the project focuses on in general.
The Freezing Favela is an experiment with the creation of a do-it-yourself community, organized by Mediamatic and located in their exhibition hall, the so-called Fabriek. The space is big, unheated, and the roof leaks. Designers, cooks and other makers have been given the possibility to claim part of this space as their own. They work autonomously on their projects, but as in any other community, materials, space, and functions have to be shared. Be sure to check out the other favela citizens, including the guys that make tosti’s from scratch, paper from cow dung, furniture made using cardboard, and food from the aquaponics farm.