Nicolas Abdelkader imagines planes and ships as giant cultivators

Nicolas Abdelkader imagines planes and ships as giant cultivators

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

With road traffic, global trade and demand for flights all declining dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic, French designer Nicolas Abdelkader has proposed a bold new use for fuel-burning vehicles around the world: turning them into giant giants. .

In his new photographic work “The Urgency to Slow Down”, the designer imagines a world after the pandemic where planes, ships and cars have been transformed into plants and trees.

Its creation Digitally manipulated images while confined to his home in Paris during the lockout, Abdelkader said they were calling for a slowdown in energy consumption. He hopes the images, which he describes as a “chimerical vision of a post-productive society”, will help viewers reflect on the kind of world we return to after the pandemic.

The French designer described the images as a “chimerical vision of a post-production society”. Credit: Nicolas Abdelkader / N. Stampach

“I would like people to be able to challenge their ‘current’ position in the world, their relationship with nature and the impact of their decisions – especially on consumption – on … biodiversity as a whole,” he said in an email. “Yes, the planet Earth is sick. Yes, it’s scary. But to heal and heal us, I think more than ever we need happy prospects and positive messages to help us be collectively creative.”

In May, passenger demand for flights was high down 91% last year, according to the International Air Transport Association. Reduced vehicle use and industrial activity have also seen pollution levels plummet in recent months, with satellite images showing a sharp drop in nitrogen oxide levels in industrial areas around the world.

Abdelkader’s proposed vision for unused planes sees green gardens exploding with open shafts. Other processed images show trees and shrubs coming out of containers, sports cars, trucks, tanks and even a SpaceX rocket.

“I think I’ve saved a lot of anger in lifestyle (which is essentially based on production and consumption, which have become the main means by which we create our own sense of worth,” he said.

The designer hopes the photos encourage people to reconsider consuming and using energy when the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic. Credit: Nicolas Abdelkader / Tzorn

As the founder of the most inactive design company in Paris, Studio NAB, Abdelkader often has inventive ideas to rethink how cities work, along with furniture and architectural design. He even suggested turning the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in a greenhouse – complete with a hive full of hives – after the church was severely damaged in a fire in 2019.

And while it has not yet worked out the exact mechanics – or even the purpose – of making the idea a reality, Abdelkader Superfarm’s newly established company intends to combine architecture, agriculture and agronomy to bring greenery back to urban spaces.

“(If we can) take the initiative to send billions of dollars to the stratosphere, which is not the most urgent activity for humans,” he said. “We can completely change the role of our vehicles to make beautiful growers!”

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