Fashion Victim

Plastic green wall at a fashion boutique on La Rambla dels Estudis.

You know green walls have become trendy when a major fashion label puts one up that’s made of plastic. Kinda defeats the very point of a green wall, doesn’t it? Silly me. I thought green walls were invented so that carbon dioxide-depleting vegetation could be cultivated in places otherwise impossible, like dense urban centers (which just so happen to produce far more CO2 than they can regenerate). But it looks like green walls have now become signage instead. Plastic signage, to boot.

It just goes to show the ease with which an effort designed with the best of environmental intentions can end up becoming an environmental problem in the end, thanks to its very fashionableness; which is to say, in our media-age, thanks to its own “success”. Will we now see Made-in-China green-walls at shopping malls everywhere? I mean, the plastic ones don’t need expensive irrigation systems or maintenance, and they still pull in the suckers. Oops, I meant to say customers.

Next time someone invents something that improves the environment, please don’t publicize it, OK?

About Rafael Gomez-Moriana

I am an architect, writer and educator. rafagomo.com chronicles my architectural making, writing, teaching and curating activity, while criticalista.com is an archive of my writings as well as a platform for venting personal rants and observations. I studied architecture at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and at the Berlage Institute (the Netherlands). I direct the University of Calgary’s architecture term-abroad program in Barcelona and teach at CIEE, and have previously taught in the Metropolis Masters Program in Architecture and Urban Culture as well as at Carleton University and the University of Manitoba.

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