root a tree

Community art project


Transformaking Festival – Green Tembi Project, 2015


Developed by Green Root Lab (Eva Bubla and Lilli Tölp)


Project Root a Tree investigated sustainability issues in Tembi village, Yogyakarta, during the residency project of Transformaking Festival ( 


Due to agricultural and domestic activities in Indonesia, there is a degradation of groundwater resources and decreasing water quality, though the majority of Indonesians have no access to piped water. They use groundwater for cooking, washing, and even drinking after boiling. 


Green Root Lab wanted to address these issues and raise awareness on pollution and health problems, while engaging locals in a community art project. A DIY workshop was conducted where children could monitor the local water sources and build water filters from natural materials: rock, sand and coal. The project was organically built into the local setting, as it used materials and methodologies that are native there, being low-cost, and available for everyone. The prototype of the water filter and a video documentation of the research and activities were exhibited during Transformaking Festival and Symposium. 


At the time of the workshop, a reforestation movement was also launched by planting numerous fruit trees in the village that provide the locals with food and material for tea production.