Giant architectural trees by THISS Studio cover the pop-up garden at Birmingham

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PoliNations project’s architectural and landscape design is a multidisciplinary collaborative work led by Trigger Collective. The project’s design team includes multidisciplinary designer and artist Carl Robertshaw, research and spatial design studio THISS Studio, costume designer Bronia Housman, events specialist Dock Street Events, and horticulturalists Chris and Toby Marchant.

The epic forest garden project is located at 1300 sqm of Victoria Square in Birmingham.


The project was commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK and presented as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

Designers and experts carefully curate the landscape. The area includes five mega tree structures that dominate the side, such as a thousand plants and flowers.

The public art installation’s trees, Mother Trees, are approximately 12 meters; and collect rainwater, generate electricity using wind power, be surrounded by flowers and plants. The garden also hosted light shows, workshops and performances, live music, and dance. Also, these installations are made as sustainably as possible with recycled materials.


PoliNations is inspired by the fact that 80% of plants in UK city gardens originated from overseas. Of these inspirations, the projects focused on values of sustainability, natural diversity, accessibility, and legacy. The garden includes approximately 6000 plants in the park. During this project, many new plants were co-planted by local schools, communities, and guests.

According to Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer at UNBOXED, “PoliNations is a joyous celebration of the incredible creativity and cultural diversity across the UK today. We’re thrilled to have commissioned the festival as a part of UNBOXED and that it will also provide a spectacular free event for everyone in the final month of the Birmingham 2022 Festival. Audiences from the region and far and wide will be able to experience an event that embraces diverse forms of art and myriad ways to tell captivating personal and collective stories that reflect the magnificent richness of our society.”


Project Info

Creative Director: Angie Bual
Design Director: Carl Robertshaw
Production Design: Bronia Housman
Architectural And Spatial Design: Thiss Studio
Design Engineers: Format Engineers
Technical Direction Dock Street Events
Horticultural Design: Chris and Toby Marchant
Landscape Installation: Scotscape Urban Greening
Lighting Designer: Matt Daw
Sound Designer: Tom Gibbons
Orchestration: Max Perryment
Props Manager: Amy Carroll
Trunk Structures Sh Structures
Canopy Structures Xkx Projects Ltd
Fabric Structures Airformance Design
Collaboration: Assembly Festival, Birmingham City Council
Photography: Jae W V Kim, Katja Ogrin & James Robertshaw

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