Six Outdoor Installations

by Youyoung Lee


With parks interspersed throughout the city and no shortage of local talent, Berlin makes the perfect playground for curious outdoor installations. Currently situated in a small park in Friedrichshain, a peculiar anthropomorphic tree most recently piqued our curiosity. Constructed from plain cardboard and tape, two human-like arms attached in a heroic bicep curl appear surprisingly life-like with their perfect proportions.


The tree brings to mind other delightfully irreverent examples of outdoor tree art, highlighted below.


Featured in Tangible, Riitta Ikonen and Anja Schaffner's nostalgic 2007 picture series, "Bird & Leaf" used self-made characters set against pastoral backgrounds to represent the artists' desire to "get back to nature."

There's something intriguing about dull bark covering up a gorgeous multi-hued core, like a precious stone, implied by Samuel François' 2007 "Pattern" series, shown in the Gestalten book Tactile.


Berlin-based artist Markus Mai delivers unnerving messages like “God†(above) by twisting twigs and manipulating hairy foliage in places as remote as Romania's Carpathian Mountains to Germany’s Black Forest.


Artist Neozoon collaborated with No Gallery in Berlin on “Bestia Recreata—The Escape,†project, which showcased breathing, fur-covered fake apes dangling from barren trees outside the Kottbusser Tor stop in Berlin.

Also featured in Tactile, Emmanuel Jacques' “Tree Stool†serves a hilarious dual purpose, simultaneously a protective rail and a functional seat for weary urbanites, all with a pop of neon color.

Picking the brains of Gestalten's book editors and designers, Youyoung Lee reports to Cool Hunting weekly on what inspires them.

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