Utne Blogs > Environment

Old Gumball Machines Retrofitted as Seedbomb Dispensaries

by Will Wlizlo


Tags: Seedbombing, Activism, Gumball Machines, Environment, Commonstudio, Good, Will Wlizlo,

greenaid

Guerrilla warfare just got a little bit easier. Guerrilla war, that is, against empty fields
and urban blight. Thanks to Greenaid, a landscape beautification project started by the
Commonstudio design firm, you can now purchase seedbombs from vintage gumball
machines
. Seedbombs are little eco-grenades packed with seeds and compost—lob one
of them into a vacant lot, cram it into a crack in the sidewalk, or leave it in a neglected
public park, and in a few days watch for a green explosion of regionally tailored
wildflowers and grasses. Not only does Greenaid incrementally garnish the concrete
jungle with shoots, leaves, and petals, it also spares gumball machines from the
salvage yard.

Listen to designers Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud talk about grassroots activism, empowering
people with design, and public spaces in the video below.

     

For another instance of creative retrofitting, check out this project to convert legally obsolete cigarette vending machines into art dispensaries in Montreal.

(Thanks, Good.)

Image courtesy of Commonstudio.

eric solstein
9/8/2010 10:45:46 AM

Vacant lots? Sure. But jamming these into the cracks in the sidewalk sounds like a cheap thrill at the expense of infrastructure. I must maintain my hilly driveway, and when cracks open up, they must be filled and sealed before grass and weeds assert themselves and cause more serious and expensive damage. What's the environmental cost of repaving?


scott seger_1
9/4/2010 10:13:12 AM

This is ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS. Seriously great thinking. :)