30 – Realities:United

Realities:UnitedEssential Tree, 2015

Location: Rogers Place Arena, 10220-104 AVE
Exterior, Northwest Corner of Rogers Place 105 ST/105 AVE



Essential Tree, designed by the Berlin-based artist collective Realities:United, is a large representation of the abstract trees used by architects in their design models.


The artwork explores the natural environment, while at the same time paying homage to the topiaries of the European Baroque era.


Placed in a planter, the sculpture interacts with the real Ash trees, which will be planted in the area. It will take 60 years for one of these trees to reach the scale of this 14.5 metre tall, faceted sculpture.


Biography: In 2000, the brothers Tim Edler and Jan Edler founded Realities:United (realU), a studio for art, architecture and technology. Realities:United develops and supports architectural solutions, usually incorporating new media and information technologies. The office provides consulting, planning, and research, also undertaking projects for clients such as museums, businesses, and other architectural firms.


One major focus of Realities:United is architecture’s outward communicative capacity. Another is the quality of the user experience inside spaces, which in function and appearance is essentially augmented and changed by additional layers carrying information, media content and communication. Some of the studio’s projects resemble classical architectural work, but venture regularly into art, design, or technology research. Most projects are intended to serve as a catalyst in a given situation, and are therefore strongly determined by identifying, transforming, amplifying, and combining various existing potentials. In that sense the approach centres on taking advantage of available opportunities, rather than specific skills, procedures, or tasks. Although the majority of the projects incorporate new technologies or experimental approaches in one way or the other, the work always aims to affect actuality, not virtuality.


Strategic initiative and a high proportion of communication and mediation in work processes mark many of the firm’s innovative projects. This approach creates the bridge between utopian ideas, abstract conceptions and realizations and has been recognized internationally. Currently Realities:United is working on new projects in Europe, Asia and the USA.


Website: http://realities-united.de/

Collection: City of Edmonton Public Art Collection

Media: Steel Sculpture

Source: Edmonton Arts Council

Photo Credit: Susan Pointe