Saturday, January 30, 2010

Art Installations using Recycled, Reclaimed and Inexpensive materials


The canopy is the overhead roof or structure supported by single pole or cantilevered from the building. The canvas canopy/tent is used to provide shade or shelter. We use them in the backyard and on the beach, to block and filter the harsh sun, wind and rain.

The structure supported by four pillars and covered by canvas or wooden beams known as gazebo are used to host a wedding ceremony and sometimes decorated with flowers and fabrics. The canopy in India named Mandap has similar function and designed to host a Hindu wedding ceremony. They create space for a special function of ceremony and rituals. People bring uniqueness to these structures with the use of colors, ornamentation and overlaying materials.
Architects, artists and engineers have been designing and interpreting the function and form of canopy/gazebo to a different level. The unique outcomes of these temporary structures are the result of one or many variables. Here I am going to show you the influence of choosing specific materials and its effect on the form.

1-Art Installation- Delhi, India, 2008 Sanjeev Shankar’s artwork for
48O Celsius Public Art Ecology festival

image source from
The structure is the enclosure made by used oil tins and is not only exquisite in form but it functions well by providing the shades in the hot summer days. He came up with the idea of re-purposing and re-defining the used cooking oil cans. This Architectural Installation was done by the help of the local people and using recycled materials.

In the words of the curator Beverley Bloxham from Toowoomba, Australia May 2009 “The completed work wears the evidence of it’s creation like the lines in an aging face: the scarred raw materials – already having completed their original commission as receptacles for cooking oil, taken apart, drilled, punched, folded, cleaned, polished and painted by many skilled hands, come together in a new symmetry with a new purpose.”

2-Art Installation – San Francisco, USA, 2008

There is another example of the structure installed in San Francisco for the event of GreenExpo. Split Bamboo stems are used to create curvy and bold organic form which stands beautifully in front of blue water of bay. It encloses a passageway between the two buildings where the conference and exhibitions were held. Also, it displays low water, native plant materials with labels so thus educating passerby.

3-Art Installation – San Francisco, USA, 2008

This light and colorful canopy was installed outside the exhibit hall during “SF House tours” event in San Francisco. This was designed and installed by architecture students. The temporary enclosure was created with the use of plastic drinking cups and plastic string. The execution of this installation was innovative and created beautiful ambiance with filtered sun light with red glow.

4-Temporary Structure, paper bridge, Remoulin, France, 2007
image source from, 
 I have to conclude this with the innovative work of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. He has been known for using recycled and inexpensive materials in innovative way. He designed a bridge with 281 cardboard tubes in Remoulin, in southern France near Pont du Gard. The steps are recycled paper and plastic and the foundations wooden boxes packed with sand. The structure is strong enough to carry 10 people at a time but light and temporary in nature so easily to be taken apart.


  1. Great idea! you are so creative perosn, using the recycled things materials you are done a good work! but i've looking forward good work using recycled paper printing.

  2. I would like to know that whether the junctions and joints of the bridge are made out of paper?
    It would be interesting to note that the Eiffel's tower was meant to be a temporary structure (gateway to one of the Expo) which became permanent!!
    Ar. Atul Dave