Team:University College London/HumanPractice/Southbank



Overview We set up a collaborative art event at Southbank which aimed to sparkle the general public’s creativity through building together with us out of the plastic pollution from Thames River’s bank a model of The Plastic Republic Island. This event was the first time our wet lab team interacted with members of the general public, conducted interviews and get feedback on the project.

The event We set up a plaster scaffold of the plastic island which was previously designed by our architecture student Carina. Our set-up was overlooking the Thames river beaches where pieces of plastic were floating which gave our project even a more realistic context. Our poster with the map of the island and the commercial –like title “Plastic Republic – Land for sale” attracted a lot of interest and we soon had people asking about our project. Our wet lab team members had the chance to explain in simple terms the main concepts of synthetic biology and how we apply those to solve an environmental problem. Many people agreed to be interviewed and share their opinions and questions with us. The first day of the collaborative art event people glued onto the island plastic litter that they had on them. This idea seemed to grow on people very quickly and soon everybody wanted to take part in building the Plastic Republic and give the plastic a new shape and form transforming it into a collaborative piece of art. The second day of our event we decided to offer people to choose their piece of the plastic islands, stick a flag onto it and name it in their honour, The idea of sticking small colourful flags appealed to our youngest audience. We also used this opportunity to give out flyers and invite people to come along our Speed Debating event.