Published: January 9, 2014

Margaret Badore mbadore


© CDR Studio

Used cups are the material of choice for this summer’s City of Dreams pavilion at the Figment art festival in New York City. The design by CDR Studio is called “Governor’s Cup,” and will be made from an estimated 20,000 discarded cups, which will be collected from around the city.

Inspired by tape-lace crochet, the cups will be bound tightly together with zip-ties to form a serpentine structure resembling an other-worldly plant. The pavilion will serve as a meeting place at the festival. Now that the winning design has been selected, the design team will choose the exact location and begin collecting their materials.

“We are planning to collect cups from February through May,” said Katya Zavyalova of CDR. “The duration of this process will mostly rely on single events – sports games, music shows, etc, where we anticipate collecting a major amount.”

CDR will also install collection boxes around the city at coffee shops and beer gardens. The collection spots will provide information about how to participate in the project, which will largely rely on volunteers.

pavilion made from recycled plastic cups © CDR Studio

Figment is a free non-profit art festival held in cities throughout the U.S. The City of Dreams Pavilion is a feature of the New York event, held annually on Governor’s Island. The dates for this year’s event have not yet been announced, but the pavilion will be on display for much of the summer.

pavilion made from recycled plastic cups

© CDR Studio

“The assembly will happen in three stages,” said Zavyalova. “First we will fabricate modules consisted of six cups in our office, then six large parts assembled from 500 modules will be assembled in a rented shop and delivered onto the island, where it will be attached to the trees, lifted and lastly connected to each other.”

Figment’s City of Dreams Pavilion has featured recycled materials in past years. In 2010, the pavilion was made from transformed milk crates and last year it was made from plastic water bottles and gallon jugs.