Student designs former landfill landmark

A former Dundee landfill site will become home to a different kind of waste this month as an art installation constructed out of recycled materials goes on display.

The structure designed by a University of Dundee student Nadine Audrey Franz, aims to raise awareness of the urgent need for action on climate change.

The construct, which comprises of two ‘apertures’, invites visitors to Dundee’s Riverside Nature Park to consider what actions they can take, such as consuming less, whilst also celebrating the beauty of nature.

Featuring former desks, from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, converted into the structure’s beams as well as off-cuts of ventilation shafts from a local business, the installation was designed to offer visitors the opportunity to ‘look-through’ at both nature and the city’s recycling centre.

Nadine, the 23 year-old Interior and Environmental Design student and designer of Dundee’s latest landmark, said she hopes the structure will give locals a renewed reason to visit Riverside Nature Park which opened to the public in 2011.

“The main reason I choose to build here, is that if you stand on the hill where the structure sits, you get views of both the beautiful Tay Estuary and immediately to the left, the Riverside Recycling Centre. It is breathtakingly calm and also quite bleak all at the same time, so it is perfectly situated to help visitors consider the impact of consumer behaviour and how we treat waste, at least for a brief moment,” said Nadine.

“The larger of the two frames is a visual reference to the warning the United Nations recently published in which they stated that climate action must be taken within 11 years to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.”

The structure which Nadine has designed for her final-year degree show also draws upon her own personal experiences from growing up in the Philippines where she volunteered in a day-care centre in a village situated in the heart of an extensive landfill in Manila.

Nadine said it was her experiences of seeing ordinary folk live amongst the rubbish that inspired her to design a structure that would raise awareness of the impact waste can have on the environment.

“Scotland and, particularly, Dundee is blessed when it comes to landfills compared to Manila but I want this to be a reminder that when you come to visit this beautiful park, you are only 1 metre above thousands of tons of trash.

“I hope that designers as well who visit the art installation will pause to reflect on the damage consumerist culture can have to the environment if they don’t consider the long-term effects.”

Nadine’s structure will be on display to the public at Riverside Nature Park until Tuesday 28th May, when it will be deconstructed and entirely recycled.

Her structure is just one of hundreds of artworks and designs currently being created by some of the country’s top young creative talents which will go on display at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and Architecture Degree Show, highlight of the city’s cultural calendar.

This year’s Degree Show which opens to the public on Saturday 18 May is set to take place during Dundee’s biggest week of art and design to date, with more than nine creative exhibitions and events taking place across the city.

Last year’s Degree Show attracted a record attendance of 16,000, generating in excess of £1.5 million for the local economy. Around 300 students will once again be showcasing visually stunning art and design that seeks to solve some of society’s biggest problems.