Dumpster diving: one man's trash recepticle is another's pool
July 13, 2009 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Inspired by the creative re-use of dumpsters in Athens, Georgia by Curtis Crowe of the band Pylon, the Macro|Sea collective have taken the idea further, and have their first dumpster pool space prototype up and active in Brooklyn (via). The group's big idea is to revitalize strip malls across America. On the smaller scale, British artist Oliver Bishop-Young has "turned skips into gold," by refurbishing small skips into little ponds, parks, skate ramps, and micro meeting areas (more details). On the more personal level, Michel de Broin created "Blue Monochrom," a dumpster hot tub.
posted by filthy light thief (9 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Can anyone figure out where in brooklyn this is happening? It looks like fun...
posted by jrb223 at 10:55 AM on July 13, 2009

Inspired by the creative re-use of dumpsters in Athens...

Threw me for a second.
posted by Sova at 10:59 AM on July 13, 2009

Fascinating. I love the idea of converting old structures for new purposes, especially if those purposes build a better sense of community. It's just too bad Olympia doesn't have skips all over her streets - I could see us really digging some ping-pong somewhere downtown or on the west side.

The first link of this post that I clicked was the "revitalize strip malls" one, where I initially triggered the slide show w/o the revitalization concept art. Maybe it's just me, but I found the parade of urban decay kinda bleakly beautiful. It's a strange thing, looking at a shuttered business park with a vast, empty parking lot - like, once upon a time, those gutted structures were once "work" or "the store" to people. There may have been a day when it was hard to find a spot to park on those empty asphalt oceans. I don't warrant these days lasted long or came steadily, as there would likely still be vital business there if customer support had been robust for a long time, but still - once, those structures lived. Now, they're just sorta there - so, all credit to Macro | Sea for making a run at actually giving these structures a purpose.

And my thanks to filthy light thief for the swell post!
posted by EatTheWeek at 11:05 AM on July 13, 2009

That Macro Sea site kept flipping out on me, but most of it just looked like hipster fashion sketches over photos, like a lot of idealism and not a lot of practical use. It's lovely to imagine turning all the abandoned stripmalls into lots for pilates and barbecues, but just filling long dumpsters with water is a lot less glam than they make it seem.

Also, I'd note that in our shit economy, dumpsters are more expensive because people got more crap to rid themselves of. Dumps are in higher demand.
posted by klangklangston at 11:06 AM on July 13, 2009

jrb223 - I glossed over the Williamsboard thread when I first saw it, but someone mentioned that it's on the corner of President and Bond, but my Google Maps skills fail me.

EatTheWeak - Macro|Sea seem like hipsters, or at least idealists of the highest degree. Their renderings of pools are way more swank than those in the Readymade article, which I feel are more fitting for the original structures than a Hollywood-style pool party atmosphere. Creating communities doesn't mean social hours, at least to me.

klangklangston - I was wondering about that, too. I think they rent the dumpsters, but I could be wrong. The articles I've been able to find are thin on details, and heavy on the fun pictures.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM on July 13, 2009

flt - Yeah, the concept art was kinda goofy on the Macro | Sea site - for one thing, where were all the families? I've lived in plenty of towns with gutted strip malls and known plenty of parents dying for someplace nearby and sparkly to take their kids that isn't the same park or same pay-for-entry KiDZ FuN ZoNeZ or whatever again - such parents would swarm these revitalized strip malls and office parks - there wouldn't be room for a hollywood-style pool party.

Also, a lot of the art looked like they just opened up Corel Paint, picked a couple greens and a few catalog clip-out people, then banged it all out it ten minutes, tracing over the photo. However, I dig the concept enough to overlook the crummy concept art. This might just be on account of how much I fantasize about a quiet future with planted-over concrete. I long to see the day when the freeways go quiet and fill up with bicycles, flanked by vendors selling homegrown foods and homespun clothes from market stands that were once Escalades and Humvees.
posted by EatTheWeek at 11:42 AM on July 13, 2009

The dumpsters aren't that much deeper than your average above-ground pool, which is a pretty easy set-up and take-down, so I'm not sure what the cost-to-benefit ratio is on these. It's cool conceptually, but dumpsters are hella expensive to rent, and I'd imagine that you'd want to make sure they're thoroughly scrubbed before lininig them and filling them with water.

Having a pool is only minimally about digging a hole in the ground and/or building a structure to hold water. The main problems with pools are in the filtration systems and chemicals required to keep the water sparkling clean.

That, with all the decking, ladders and other acoutrements that are added to these pools make me wonder where the "renewal" aspect is in this? Is it really that much more cost-effective to create a pool out of a dumpster than use found materials that could be built around a ready-made above-ground pool?
posted by xingcat at 11:42 AM on July 13, 2009

Wow, strip malls look great if you have a bunch of plants and freakishly small people.
posted by Monstrous Moonshine at 11:46 AM on July 13, 2009

Can anyone figure out where in brooklyn this is happening?

Before I saw filthy light thief's comment, I made this into a Google Maps exercise for myself.

The starting point was the last photo on this page (which I'll call the "reference photo"). The tall building in the background is One Hanson. The smaller buildings in front of One Hanson are housing projects in Boerum Hill, which you can see up close here. With two points of reference in hand, I plotted the line of sight and estimated the distance from One Hanson of the location in the reference photo.

Hunting for a few minutes in the general vicinity of my estimated location, I found the same view of the background buildings in the reference photo. Close, right? I then came across this area, where you can see the red building with white windows that is behind the camper in the reference photo. Very close! Finally, I found the modern building that you can see a sliver of in the background of the first photo on the Dumpster Diving site (the one with modern-looking vertical and horizontal windows).

That led me to my prey -- the actual site, as confirmed by the white building that is shown in the reference photo. The overhead location can be seen here (it's in the interior lot south of President and east of Bond).

Anyways, I guess that was somewhat of a wasted effort given that someone spilled the beans in another thread, but it was fun anyway. Happy pool party crashing!
posted by brain_drain at 12:12 PM on July 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

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