LOCAL RIVER, home storage unit for fish and greens

published in: Design, Exhibitions By Yatzer, 07 May 2008

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Materials: glass: blown & thermoformed, water pump, joints.
Dimensions : Large : 64 x 29 x 39 inches, Small : 29 x 18 x 36 inches

"Local River"
Mathieu Lehanneur
with Anthony van den Bossche, spin doctor
25 April to 21 June 2008 | Artists Space Gallery, New York

Curator : Alexandra Midal

Local River, home storage unit for fish and greens

The Locavores appeared in San Francisco in 2005 and define themselves as 'a group of culinary adventurers who eat foods produced in a radius of 100 miles (160 km) around their city'. By doing so they aim to reduce impact on the environment inherent to the transport of foodstuffs, while ensuring their traceability.

Local River anticipates the growing influence of this group (the word 'locavore' made its first appearance in an American dictionary in 2007) by proposing a home storage unit for live freshwater fish combined with a mini vegetable patch. This DIY fish-farm-cum-kitchen-garden is based on the principle of aquaponics coupled with the exchange and interdependence of two living organisms - plants and fish. The plants extract nutrients from the nitrate-rich dejecta of the fish. In doing so they act as a natural filter that purifies the water and maintains a vital balance for the eco-system in which the fish live. The same technique is used on large-scale pioneer aquaponics/fish-farms, which raise tilapia (a food fish from the Far East) and lettuce planted in trays floating on the surface of ponds.

Local River responds to everyday needs for fresh food that is 100% traceable. It bets on a return to favour of farm-raised freshwater fish (trout, eel, perch, carp, etc...), given the dwindling supplies of many saltwater species due to over-fishing. It also demonstrates the capacity of fish-farmers to deliver their stock live to a private consumer as a guarantee of optimum freshness - impossible in the case of saltwater fish that has been netted.

Local River aims to replace the decorative 'TV aquarium' by an equally decorative but also functional 'refrigerator-aquarium'. In this scenario, fish and greens cohabit for a short time in a home storage unit before being eaten by their keepers, the end-players in an exchange cycle within a controlled ecosystem.


Artists Space
38 Greene Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10013
Phone: 212. 226. 39 70

Anthony van den Bossche ,age 36, independent ideas man and curator.

Set up Duende Studio in 2007, for events design and press relations. Moved full-time into design in 2001 after working as a journalist, ideas man and producer in television. Has mounted exhibitions such as "Design@home.se', 'Norway says' and 'Eden ADN, genetic design' (Biennale de Saint-Etienne 2006) that highlight functional and decorative improvement of living organisms. Member of the purchasing jury of the National Fund for Contemporary Art, decorative arts department, and creator of the world gazette website www.resetdesign.com (2002-07).


Artists Space, Mathieu Lehanneur, Anthony van den Bossche

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Lehanneur Mathieu

About Mathieu Lehanneur

Graduated from ENSCI-Les Ateliers in 2001; is currently exploring poswww.duendestudio.fr/sibilities in nature and technology for their break-thru potential in functions and their capacity to work magic. Made his international début with a series entitled 'Elements' (VIA Carte blanche 2006) and the 'Bel Air' filtering system for plants (2007), six objects that form a domestic 'Health Angels' kit for rebalancing everyday physiological needs (such as lack of sunlight in winter) and countering aggression factors in urban settings (noise & air pollution).

[official website]
  • friend
    JC | 2008-05-10 04:19:01

    Nice project, but it sounds weird that the guy who is supposed to be a curator is actually associated to the work.

  • friend
    dick gozinya | 2008-05-26 23:32:46

    This is pretty cool, very clever concept.

  • friend
    Alec | 2011-05-26 06:47:24

    Wow! What can I say, the fish tank has come of age. It is a modern piece of furniture that, gee, I am impressed, the shelving, the sleek design and the greener all brings together a delightful presentation.

  • friend
    Dean Ashby | 2012-11-23 06:09:02

    A very interesting concept, from the aquarium to the mini farm in the house. However, is it expensive to have such a storage unit in our homes? And also are the safety elements guaranteed such as leakage or risks of electrocution? Does this concept also mean to state that the water in the aquarium need not be changed, because the plant would keep naturally filtering the water and purifying it at the same time? I would love to grow some basil while at the same time rearing some prawns.

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