As part of the 2018 Bruges Triennial, STUDIOKCA has constructed a four-story-tall whale from five tons of plastic waste that has been pulled from the Pacific Ocean.
The organizers of the 2018 Bruges Triennial approached STUDIOKCA to create an art piece interpreting the idea of the “liquid city,” a concept that defines the city as an ever changing set of consumer transactions, whose identity is in flux as cities grow more and more connected through globalization.
“Our first thought led us to thinking about the biggest liquid city on the planet (the ocean), how it connects us all, and how the waste produced and consumed in our cities, specifically plastic waste, ends up in the ocean,” the studio said.
The studio then proposed collecting as much plastic waste out of the oceans that they could in four months, and shaping that waste into “Skyscraper,” an almost four story tall whale pushing out of one of Bruges' main canals, and arching over historic Jan Van Eyck Square at the Belgium’s city center.
Skyscraper was selected along with 14 other installations proposed by a select group of international artists and architects to be brought to life for the event.
“Scientists estimate there are 150 million tons of plastic trash in the ocean right now, with an estimated 8 million tons added every year. That means, pound for pound, there is more plastic waste from our cities swimming in the ocean than there are whales. A whale, breaching from the water, is the first "skyscraper of the sea", and as the largest mammal in the water, it felt like the right form for our piece to take in order to show the scope and scale of the problem,” the studio added.
Working with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund and the Surfrider Foundation Kaui Chapter, STUDIOKCA was able to pull over five tons of plastic to create Skyscraper.
STUDIOKCA is an award-winning architecture and design firm led by Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang based in Brooklyn, New York with projects ranging in scale and complexity from lighting fixtures and interiors, to public installations, sculptures, and buildings in New York, Vermont, Nevada, Wisconsin, Brazil, Taiwan, and Papua New Guinea.
The practice explores the ways in which context and locality offer opportunities to design and create objects and spaces that respond directly to the demands of their programs and site-specific environmental conditions.
Founder: Louise Blouin