A floating forest will soon set sail in Rotterdam

Mothership’s Dobberend Bos installation explores how people and nature coexist in an urban environment.

In 2011, Colombian artist Jorge Bakker unveiled his In Search Of Habiust installation, which was comprised of a water tank filled with miniature buoys and model trees. Inspired by Bakker’s query of the relationship between city dwellers and nature, Dutch design collective Mothership decided to create a life-size version of the installation in the port city of Rotterdam.

The installation titled, Dobberend Bos (Dutch for Bobbing Forest) will see a forest of 20 elm trees bobbing on top of Rotterdam’s unused harbor basin of Rijnhaven. Each tree will be planted in a repainted old sea buoy, which has been designed to guard the tree from rough waters and sustain its growth.

The trees will be sourced from Rotterdam’s Bomendepot – a tree bank of sorts that stores trees that were unearthed during redevelopment and then releases them for new sustainable projects in the city.

After two years of experimenting with prototypes, art producer at Mothership & Brotherhood Jeroen Everaert, art historian and cultural producer Anne van der Zwaag and designer Jurgen Bey, along with a handful of student collaborators, are ready to launch the floating forest in March this year.