Monday, March 2, 2009

Ice & Snow Furniture Raised From Lake

I am always amazed at the various ways in which the environmental message is passed on. Recently, I received an email from a University of Wisconsin student, Hongtao Zhou. Hongtao is an environmental artist who is trying to raise awareness on sustainability ... in a very unique way. He has graciously shared his message ... and some photos ... with us:

Ice & Snow Furniture Raised From Lake

Human activities have changed the planet dramatically by leaving too many prints along. Below is how Hongtao Zhou, a University of Wisconsin-Madison Artist/Designer, response to make more folk understand sustainable design by his ice and snow art.

Hongtao is creating the icy furniture on frozen Lake Mendota near the UW-Madison Memorial Union Terrace shoreline, making a unique landscape place for visitors to enjoy winter fun. They stop by taking pictures, eating ice cream with snow bowls and trying the cold ice chairs. This furniture set is created in a factory called winter, and they are raised by following the nature using local climate and natural resources to please people in winter. Basically, it is not wise for human to work against the climate. The pieces uses the winter as a huge factory, use the local snow and water as raw material, leaves 0 energy consumption.

This public art/product is functional, connecting the lake, the land (architecture), the air and the people and complete a sustainable life cycle with minimum environmental impact. Comparing with other art or product, the whole life cycle is clean and leaves 0 negative impact to the environment.

Environmental artist Hongtao wants his climate furniture to demonstrate the beauty of sustainable design.

Following the weather changes, the furniture will back into the lake and become a part of the water body again and complete their beautiful green story.

Ice & Snow Furniture Raised From Lake Mendota, Photo by Hongtao Zhou

Snow bowls for ice cream, Photo by Hongtao Zhou

Hongtao Zhou is creating the icy furniture on frozen Lake Mendota near the UW-Madison Memorial Union Terrace shoreline, photo by Susan Frikken,

Cold night working with the weather, photo by Susan Frikken,

Fisherman stop by, Photo by Hongtao Zhou

For another article on Hongtao, click on the following link:

You may contact Hongtao for more information at:

Cell phone: 608-658-0723

Mailing address:
Hongtao Zhou
6241 Humanities Building
455 North Park Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53706

Wasn't that incredible? I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to Hongtao Zhou for this beautiful example of sustainable design.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!