Jasmine Zimmerman, like many of us, was thinking that there must be something cool and useful she could do with all those used plastic bottles. So when she was commissioned by Solar One in New York City to create an environmental installation for the 2007 Citysol festival, she decided to act on her thoughts. Zimmerman used hundreds of plastic bottles to create a functional greenhouse.
The Bottle House ties in nicely to the green themes now popular at art festivals. So far, the multidisciplinary artist has created two Bottle Houses, one for the Citysol fest and the other for the 2008 Bumbershoot festival in Seattle. Both were well received. “It’s an excellent example of repurposing a harmful and overlooked material into one that will grow vegetation,” points out Inhabitat blogger Alexandra Kain.
The most difficult aspect of creating the greenhouses was maintaining the structural integrity. The bottles are held together with permanent silicone, and Zimmerman found that she has to build the houses at a specific pace so that the silicone sets up correctly as she creates the inclines of the walls.
Both beautiful and practical, the Bottle Houses are intended to raise awareness around bottled water consumption. “I wanted to use everyday, discarded materials to transform our waste into the birth of new life,” she says, pointing out that Americans consume more than 90 million bottles of water every day, and only one in five bottles is recycled.
You may be familiar with some of Zimmerman’s other work: her rubber band installations around Manhattan have been featured on Boing Boing, and she was recently awarded an artist residency at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash.
Zimmerman plans to exhibit the Bottle Houses in empty lots, rooftops, parks, and vacant buildings to help spread the word. She hopes her work will have an effect on the choices people make in everyday life. And maybe others will be inspired to make something cool and useful out of all those plastic bottles.
Zimmerman’s Projects: jasminezimmerman.com