Tree Lungs

WHERE: Lille, France
WHEN: October 2012
CLIENT: EDF & Lille3000

Tree Lungs were commissioned by EDF and Lille3000 as part of the Energy Futures project for the arts and culture festival Fantastic 2012 in Lille France.

We transformed the Jean-Baptiste Lebas Park into a future vision of a bio-energy producing urban orchard aptly named the ‘Energy Orchard’.

Nestled within the Energy Orchard were the breathing TreeLungs, a synthesis of natural and technological materials. A woven mass of electronics, cabling and wood intertwine and branch from a central point. They resemble the familiar structure of fractal trees and lungs because trees are considered the lungs of the earth. Plants help the planet breathe by turning carbon dioxide into clean, pure oxygen, which is necessary for all life. This delicate balance of gases between life forms is part of the deep interconnectedness of life.

The TreeLungs breathe in and out with an animated flickering of light. The breathing rhythm deepens, slows and distorts in synchronicity with the fluctuating carbon levels within the park. Several carbon sensors distributed across the park and in close proximity to the main road provide the environmental data. Carbon levels were at the highest when traffic flow was at its greatest resulting in a quick and shallow breath.