MINI LIVING: The Pondering Life

September 2017

Designer Ruud Belmans has created a sanctuary amid the bustle of Brussels. Seemingly floating in the St Catherine’s Church pond for the duration of Design September is a table surrounded by honeysuckle.

Known for its air-purifying capabilities, no less than 1,300 plants have been specially cultivated to make them extra hairy, enabling them to collect large amounts of fine dust particles. Addicted to air pollution, honeysuckle plants are also known as ‘green junkies’.

Much like an iceberg, however, the water surface hides a significant part of the installation. The entire bottom of the pond is full of olivine stone. This is a common mineral known for its capacity to extracting CO2 from the air, with an even stronger effect when combined with water. Says Belmans, creative director of Pinkeye:

“We have opted for easy and cheap materials. Conscious living should not just be synonymous with expensive interventions, such as solar boilers, solar panels, heat pumps and you name it. There are a lot of us in the city. That means that with small, cheap interventions, we can achieve an awful lot together.”

The installation brings to life the MINI LIVING philosophy of creatively using space with a minimum footprint. Standing at the foot of one of the most beautiful churches in Brussels, the installation also intends to not only inspire residents to contribute to a cleaner living environment, but also to pause, ponder and connect with each other.

Imaging new ways of living is the essence of the MINI LIVING’s ‘Breathe’ series launched during Milan Design Week in April 2017. The British car brand presented a permeable three-storey housing installation with playful spatial experiences inside (read more about New-York-based architecture firm SO – IL’s design here).