Waste World / School of the Earth

Constellation made from thousands of compostable coffee cups!

Global Design NYU presenta two design exhibitions, Waste_World and School of the Earth: Gallatin Reimagined in 2061. Waste_World is the work of students from Louise Harpman’s “Architecture and Urban Design LAB.” School of the Earth: Gallatin Reimagined in 2061 is the work of students from Peder Anker and Mitchell Joachim’s “Designing for New Climates: Histories of Adaptation.” These shows are offered as a part of NYCxDESIGN 2017, New York City’s annual, official city-wide celebration of design.


Undergraduates in NYU professor Louise Harpman’s Architecture and Urban Design LAB course created Waste_World, a green-frastructure made entirely of compostable paper and plastic coffee cups. Waste_World orbited the galleries of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study as part of the annual NYCxDESIGN festival. The interactive installation was a featured project in Design Daily and Project of the Day in Next Top Architects.To make Waste_World, students collected used cups every day for a month from bins at local coffee shops. The 1,500 cups in Waste_World are merely delayed on their journey to a composting facility. But that’s the exception, not the rule. Over 1,500,000 non-compostable paper and plastic cups go directly to landfills every day in this country.We can change this—we can make better choices. Through direct artistic activism, Gallatin students educated themselves and others about why New York City needs a more robust commitment to composting. The time to act is now. There is No Planet B.


The School of the Earth is a future for Gallatin that is about the environment and adapting to the new climate ahead of us. It incorporates a sustainable way of life and understanding of human impact on the environment into a university curriculum that is also more accessible and focused on creative and innovative learning. This School of the Earth is also about a Gallatin community that is aware of, interacts ethically with, and learns from the surrounding communities. This building is redesigned as a space that promotes these ideas, and actively encourages environmental awareness and sustainable living.