Hedgework: From Urban Landscape to Sentient Hedgerow

Hedgework is a collaboration between Marek Walczak, (Civic Space LLC), Mark Shepard, (Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies (CAST)), Antonina Simeti, (Timbre Consultants), with support from Robbie Lee (sound composition), and Wes Heiss (fabrication).

Published May 15, 2024

Found at Building 77 in Brooklyn NY, Hedgework emerges as an urban landscape intervention, embodying the essence of a sentient hedgerow. This installation was crafted by a collective of public artists, architects, and urban planners, including Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of CAST, Mark Shepard. The project moves past conventional boundaries to foster deeper connections between humans and the natural world.

At its core, Hedgework serves as a vibrant collection of native plants and environmental sensors, orchestrating a biodiverse habitat that thrives on the synergy between nature and human interaction. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in this dynamic ecosystem, discovering the rich tapestry of life within the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Through QR codes strategically placed amidst the hedgerow, visitors can engage in dialogue with Hedgework itself, utilizing artificial intelligence to gain insights into its environment and inhabitants. Additionally, the habitat's soundtrack offers a sensory journey, providing auditory cues that reflect the ever-changing rhythm of life within the installation.

What sets Hedgework apart is its commitment to sustainability and repurposing. Constructed entirely from materials sourced from the Yard, including reused delivery pallets and sand from New York Sand & Stone, the installation embodies a circular ethos that minimizes environmental impact. Powered by a solar panel system from Voltaic Systems, Hedgework embraces renewable energy to sustain its operations, from powering bird feeder cameras to nurturing plant beds.

In essence, Hedgework transcends its physical form to become a beacon of ecological stewardship and community engagement.