At the beginning of October, we pitched our three concepts to two Veolia representatives. Following that, they chose their favourite idea, or an aspect of each of them, and gave us more feedback. This narrowed down our options and, simultaneously, made the project concrete and manageable. In my case, ‘The Star of London’ was the winning design. However, they did enjoy the concept of writing letters to homeless people from ‘Write me a letter’. I had to find a way to combine both.
Next to the tap London terminal, there could be a sealed transparent plastic box that hands out a Christmas card made of recycled paper for every donation. Once the visitors have written a message, they slide the cards in an opening in the trunk. On the same principle as post boxes, a flap would prevent water from getting inside the sculpture. The letters fall into a closed plastic receptacle inside the tree to avoid paper coming into contact with any wires. The only issue is making the trunk big enough to welcome a substantial amount of cards, the metal structure and the cables.
To better visualise it, I made a sized down physical representation using wire, plastic and wood. I started with the wooden base, which was the most taxing task to do as I had to make five holes using only a screwdriver, a hammer and a nail. Next, I cut about 25 cm of wire and repeated the process until I had a sufficient amount. I slid around a dozen strands in each hole and flattened the roots so the tree would remain in place. I proceeded to wrap the loose wires into the trunk, divided it in half and twisted each half again until I had two main branches with several others attached to them. To finish the structure, I curved the ends into flowers. At this point, the visual was only representative of the metal structure, so I cut a plastic bottle into small pieces that I melted and shaped. As they had very distinctive and often impractical shapes, I wasn’t able to do a full plastic casing, instead, I strategically glued some pieces to convey the idea as best as possible.
To complete the visual representation, I made the sculpture of a flower, the one that would adorn the branches of the tree, in an attempt to explain the layering of the plastic layers.