I am thrilled to report that the “Lichen for Skyscrapers Project” was featured as part of New York’s Art in Odd Places Festival from Oct. 1-10 and is currently on view as a site-specific installation on 14th Street between Union Square Park and the Hudson River. A self-guided walking-tour map and downloadable brochure, detailing the installation on 14th Street, can be found at the end of this post. A Rutgers Focus news release states:
Lichen is a versatile combination of fungi and algae and can grow vertically on pourous surfaces.
In this era of environmental consciousness, many buildings are being outfitted to “go green.” A Rutgers–Camden professor is taking the term quite literally.
Elizabeth Demaray, an associate professor of fine arts, is cultivating lichen on the sides of New York City skyscrapers to counteract the lack of native vegetation found in the city. Her “Lichen for Skyscrapers Project” was featured as part of New York’s Art in Odd Places Festival from Oct. 1-10 and is currently on view as a site-specific installation on 14th Street between Union Square Park and the Hudson River.
“Metropolitan centers figure into local temperatures in an interesting way,” Demaray says. “They are sometimes referred to as ‘urban heat islands’ because they create heat and they trap heat. A large part of this process is due to the materials that we build with and the actual architecture of the buildings that we create.”
Demaray says one of the ways to reduce heat in these cities is to cultivate lichen, which forms a protective barrier, insulating its supporting building from harmful elements. It can lower cumulative temperatures by absorbing sunlight and reflecting heat due to its light color palate while making oxygen and creating green space on the sides of buildings.
Scientific American Lichen for Skyscrapers post:
Rutgers Magazine post: