Back to Eden
 Information Partner  
Back to Eden in ArtPrize 2013; Photo Courtesy of LiveWallProject Name: Back to Eden
Year: 2013
Owner: The B.O.B. (Big Old Building)
Location: Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Building Type: Other
Type: Living Wall
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 1430 sq.ft.
Slope: 100%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public
Submitted by: LiveRoof

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Greenwall Designer: David S. MacKenzie, LiveWall
Greenwall Manufacturer: LiveWall, LLC.
"Back to Eden" Photo Courtesy of LiveWallPhoto Courtesy of LiveWallEnjoying "Back to Eden"; Photo Courtesy of LiveWall
ArtPrize® is a radically open, independently organized annual international art competition with an unprecedented $200,000 top prize decided entirely by public vote. Time Magazine named ArtPrize one of "Five Festival Events You Won't Want to Miss in 2013." For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, become an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown, and it’s all free and open to the public.

Every year, ArtPrize distributes $560,000 in total cash prizes—$360,000 awarded by public vote and $200,000 awarded by jury—making the competition the world’s largest ArtPrize.

Completed on September 5, 2013, the entry of "Back to Eden" is a living entry that ties the bonds between art, architecture and nature. As ArtPrize is attended by hundreds of thousands of visitors, the living wall entry raises awareness of sustainable building practices and the unlimited potential for creativity in designing them.
LiveWall modules prior to planting; Photo Courtesy of LiveWallPlanting the "Back to Eden" design; Photo Courtesy of LiveWall
The "Back to Eden" project is a living painting, with plants as the paint and the LiveWall growing system as the canvas. The various colors and textures are tied together with a tendril of purple vining through the 11' x 130' canvas. It is intended to be a colorful, beautiful, thought provoking tribute to living-architecture visionaries like William McDonough, John Todd, and Malcolm Wells (who have influenced society to think and act sustainably). Approximately 500 man hours have gone in to the construction of the 2,500 plant design.

Such "gray to green" visionaries foresee an Eden-like future with buildings, bridges, parking lots, offices and homes clothed in greenery, and plants used to insure the ecological health of the planet (purifying air and water, cooling and insulating, feeding birds and butterflies and people). After ArtPrize 2013, "Back to Eden" will be moved to a permanent home.

Dave MacKenzie, designer, hoped to provide a glimpse of what such a future might look like through "Back to Eden."

About ArtPrize
When: Sept. 18-Oct. 6, 2013
Venue Hours: Minimum hours for all venues are 5-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday from Sept. 18 through Oct. 6. Venues may be open for additional hours.
Venue Hours: Exhibition Centers and Showcase Venue hours: Noon-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sundays from Sept. 18 through Oct. 6.
Admission: Free admission to all ArtPrize venues during ArtPrize hours.
How to Vote for “Back to Eden”: VOTING code is: 54712. Only people who register via phone app within the ArtPrize area or register at one of the hubs in downtown Grand Rapids can vote (so you actually have to be there to help determine the winner). Find out more here.

Additional thumbnail photos:

Opening day at ArtPrize 2013; Photo Courtesy of LiveWallClose up at night; Photo Courtesy of LiveWallEnjoying the Back to Eden plants; Photo Courtesy of LiveWallA beautiful living wall!  Photo Courtesy of LiveWallNight lighting accents; Photo Courtesy of LiveWall
Open from September 18-October 6, 2013, ArtPrize 2013 has 168 venues located within a 3-square mile district downtown between Leonard Street and Wealthy Street, north to south; and between Straight/Alpine Avenue and College Avenue, west to east; and Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI; visit their website to learn more. See the official LiveWall ArtPrize Manufacturer Informational Page. See more photos and read the Early look at ArtPrize 2013, 9/9/2013 by Andrew Kuhn of MLive. Read Vote for “Back to Eden” by Dave MacKenzie of LiveWall at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI through Saturday 9/28! by Linda Velazquez in the Greenroofs.com Sky Gardens Blog. Learn about LiveRoof and LiveWall in the Greenroof & Greenwall Directory.
 
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