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Gabion art-installation in Southern Italy calls attention to the Garbage State


Piece of art engineered by Italian artist Maria Cristina Finucci alerts people about the environmental threat of floating garbage

Civil engineering isn’t just designing and building infrastructure. It also increasingly requires fresh development concepts and perspective for a more sustainable cohabitation between man and nature. Civil engineering and its associated professions will need to overcome these challenges: making sure that infrastructure and development demands can be met despite increasing population and decreasing raw materials so that generations to come will not suffer poor land management, poisoned seas and the uncontrolled proliferation of concrete conurbations.

We are therefore pleased to have made a contribution to this work of art carrying a great symbolic value: the “Garbage Patch State”, an installation realized by Maria Cristina Finucci representing an enormous “HELP” made of garbage-filled gabions. The piece of art is located in the Sicilian island of Mozia, in southern Italy, and was realized by filling our gabions with colorful plastic elements representing the terrific amount of rubbish currently floating within the oceans.














This work draws attention to and recognizes the existence of a common enemy, environmental pollution, and recalls something that scientists have long been studying and measuring: the Pacific Trash Vortex, a real island floating in the Pacific Ocean which is estimated to be as extensive as the State of Texas, if not more.

It took decades for the oceans to gather, convey and assemble enough plastic into an island, and since 2013, when UNESCO made an official declaration recognizing such a giant environmental issue, artistic setups dedicated to the “Plastic Age” started to spread awareness about the consequences of failed recycling and lack of environment-friendly packaging solutions.

The visual impact of the installation is enhanced by the collision with a surrounding environment which has been worn down only by the passage of centuries. Our gabions, filled with plastic instead of rocks – what they are meant for – remind us that when progress is engineered unwisely, centuries rapidly turn into years.

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