Blog 1705 Moss Graffiti Neubau Eyewear 5

Moss graffiti and mindfulness – a chat with landscape architect Roland Dunzendorfer

The most mesmerizing and fascinating things often are the ones you'd least expect, managing to link otherwise separated fields and create new ideas and perspectives in the process. Like moss and graffiti.

Yes, you read that right. Brought togeth­er by Vien­nese land­scape archi­tect and artist Roland Dun­zen­dor­fer the plant and the art form recent­ly col­lid­ed in the shape of our beloved glass­es, which Roland put up all around Vienna’s Neubau neigh­bor­hood, cre­at­ing strik­ing yet sus­tain­able graf­fi­ti in a nev­er before seen way.

Being a nature lover and sus­tain­abil­i­ty advo­cate for quite some time now, Roland made it his mis­sion to edu­cate all of us about the dif­fer­ent ways we can start liv­ing a more con­scious lifestyle. He fre­quent­ly writes about his progress on rais­ing aware­ness for the alarm­ing state of our plan­et on his web­site and also is one of the founders of Colearn­ing Wien, a school and cowork­ing space offer­ing alter­na­tive work­shops and class­es for chil­dren and teenagers.

With his con­stant strive to make the world a more sus­tain­able and inno­v­a­tive place, we thought it be best to let Roland him­self tell us all about his moss graf­fi­ti guer­ril­la project and how we can achieve mak­ing the world a green­er, art­si­er place.

How did you come up with the idea to fuse moss and graf­fi­ti?
I real­ly like graf­fi­ti, at least when they are aes­thet­i­cal­ly pleas­ing. But I nev­er agreed with the chem­i­cals in the col­ors used and how graf­fi­ti destroys the build­ing under­neath. One day while I was walk­ing along Donaukanal in Vien­na I noticed a new kind of graf­fi­to that was much more in line with my prin­ci­ples: made out of moss. I then researched instruc­tions for doing a moss-graf­fi­to, quick­ly also came up with my own instruc­tion, and was even approached by an agency to devel­op a moss-graf­fi­to – and that’s how every­thing evolved.

What’s unique about work­ing with moss? How did you man­age to get it into the shape of glass­es?
Moss has a very spe­cial sur­face and feel, it’s soft yet strik­ing­ly robust and one of a kind when it comes to plants. With the shape, there aren’t real­ly any bound­aries as long as you stay with­in a cer­tain height and width.

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Your mot­to is think glob­al­ly, act local­ly”. What does this mean to you?
I have trav­elled quite a bit of the world and worked abroad a lot. While in oth­er coun­tries I was always con­front­ed with the same prob­lems and com­pa­nies, some of them even link­ing back to Aus­tria. So I decid­ed that if I want to change some­thing it prob­a­bly is best to start right at the ori­gin. Focus­ing on your local area is espe­cial­ly reward­ing as you imme­di­ate­ly see the changes. Still, you should nev­er loose sight of the big­ger pic­ture and what needs to hap­pen globally.

How does one man­age to achieve that change – more sus­tain­abil­i­ty and green­ery in their imme­di­ate envi­ron­ment? Espe­cial­ly in cities?
There are count­less pos­si­bil­i­ties. The most com­mon actions prob­a­bly are to sep­a­rate your trash, to use your bike instead of the car, and to put or plant green­ery onto your win­dowsill or in your front gar­den. But that’s just the start: I, for exam­ple, am not pro­duc­ing any more kitchen slops, as I put them into an Bokashi and then trash them on a com­post pile. I also helped set up a food coop­er­a­tive where you can source gro­ceries direct­ly from the pro­duc­ers in your region. Apart from that I try not to trav­el by plane and only buy high qual­i­ty, fair­ly pro­duced clothes that don’t get out of sea­son after a few months.

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Which tips do you gen­er­al­ly have for liv­ing a more sus­tain­able, aware life?
I think we should lis­ten to our gut feel­ing way more. If you go to the super­mar­ket and buy gro­ceries that have been pack­aged three times and prob­a­bly still be good to eat two weeks after their said expi­ra­tion date, you’re most cer­tain­ly going to have a weird feel­ing about that. It’s all about think­ing log­i­cal­ly and real­iz­ing that some­thing just can’t be right with the way we con­sume. If you buy a t-shirt for just five Euros that a stressed woman is hec­ti­cal­ly throw­ing into a bag at the cash out you’re prob­a­bly going to have a quite sim­i­lar feel­ing to the one in the super­mar­ket. All of us are notic­ing that feel­ing but we’re so used to it that we think there prob­a­bly isn’t any oth­er way. And that is wrong.

What is the most impor­tant thing about sus­tain­abil­i­ty?
Sim­ply that it’s won­der­ful. We have a great plan­et pro­vid­ing every­thing we need, with a con­stant sup­ply. Just look at the blos­soms dur­ing spring time. The only thing we need to do to main­tain that cycle is to not destroy our plan­et. Sounds quite easy, doesn’t it?

What do you hope for the work you do in the future?
I think the time of action has final­ly come. The pio­neers of the move­ment have done amaz­ing work, and still do. Now it’s up to all of us to make use of that. 20 years ago my ideas were called crazy. Today, a lot of those have already found their way into the main­stream. Gar­den­ing though liv­ing in a city for exam­ple. The cur­rent time is a lot of fun, actu­al­ly, because I don’t have to secret­ly fol­low my ideas any­more. But of course I’m already work­ing on new ones.

15 May 2017 · neubau eyewear