Local River by Mathieu Lehanneur 2



Here are some photographs of Mathieu Lehanneur's domestic “refrigerator-aquarium” called Local River, on show at Artists Space Gallery in New York.


The aquarium breeds freshwater fish for eating and grows vegetables in glass domes, which help to purify the water.


The concept allows people to rear food at home, thereby reducing the environmental impact of industrial fishing.


See our previous story for more information.

Posted on Saturday May 10th 2008 at 10:37 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Zenza

    Gotta be honest…. I like this! :)

  • zetre

    That’s bad ass!
    I also want a home ran on electric eels!

  • Bonzo

    “The aquarium breeds freshwater fish for eating and grows vegetables in glass domes, which help to purify the water…”
    Perhaps just a little more information is required to make a reasonable judgement, but in the meantime, we think it highly unlikely that this would fulfill the stated function.
    In fact, this must be a humourous entry: it’s naivety is so profound that the only other explanation is that it is the musings of a 6 year old.
    “The concept allows people to rear food at home, thereby reducing the environmental impact of industrial fishing…” – especially hilarious. How much aquarium space and glass bowl vegetable gardens would you need to sustain an average family, rearing fish from spawn to maturity? Do you think that the conditions these fish are kept in could constitute animal cruelty? Why don’t we just learn to eat and enjoy domestic dogs?
    Its just abot the glass bowls isn’t it?
    It is sad that when faced with a legitimately urgent topic of food availability and sustainability, the best ‘designers’ can come up with is this cynical, glib nonsense. It is an insult to the notion and philosophy of design, lazy thinking and disrespect for an audience that they obviously believe is too stupid to see behind their bad ideas.

  • I second Bonzo’s thoughts.
    This conceptual work is completely taking the piss.

  • john

    This is perverse! Without any sense for nature!

  • J

    @Bonzo: I see this more as an experiment. I also think the intentions of the experiment are positive. Ok, the esthetics are more important than the results in this case, but a lot of times these experiments lead to better products. Give it a chance.

  • tiffany

    shape op the vase is stolen from the Bouroullec brothers

  • charles

    lacks a sense of realism but is a great experiment.
    these things (design?product…?) exists and are created in order to suggest an option/lead to future thoughts.
    I think its a wonderful project.

    Its just non-sellable, non-realistic, non-problem solving, non-sustainable, and perhaps.. not a product.

  • zuy

    Give it a chance to experiment a new option ( see elastic mind in Moma), french and world “design is dead” as STARk said….

  • zuy

    i’m not agree with tiffani the shape is different from Bouroullec’s vase…only the same shape is protected

  • tommi

    d’ plant pot is nice, but d’ fish tank is too blank. like some rocks ind “river bed”, some water plants etc…just to make d’ river is friendly to d’ fish…

  • me gustaria saber la web de contacto para comprar estas plantas. saludos desde españa.

  • Joaquin

    @J…I do agree. Maybe it’s yet not the best idea, but what matters is the designer took an action. And actions create reactions which eventually create more actions and so forth.

    A world’s a better place when people keep pushing for the better. Ben Franklin had a point when he flew a kite with a key in the midst of the storm. And you would have laughed at his stupid experiment. Perhaps all pessimists in Dezeen should learn to start shaping their critics into something concrete and show us how they can come up with something better here (if they can come up with something at all), or at least learn the term ‘good critics.’

    Negative, pointless critics which suggest no alternatives are idiotic, and should be put aside.

  • zuy

    lehanneur is french but do not follow Starck… he is in one future of design

  • mule

    You could also said that the vase looks like this
    Who is copying who? Hayon copied Bourollec?

  • zuy

    He is on the cover of the french design magazine Intramuros ( text also in english)

  • Bonzo

    So drug designers for instance, or car designers, or airplane designers, they are allowed to just “take action” and watch the ‘reaction’? Or do these industries consider the brief carefully and research and publish/produce only when they are quite assured that they have reached a reasonable conclusion? I object to over simplification and lazy responses. You either take it seriously; or you do not. If you do not take important issues seriously, if you choose to publish something not even quarter baked – fine. But be prepared for approporiate ‘idiotic’ criticism.

  • yves

    well Bonzo,

    this is just a concept. No need to get angry because it is not effective. I mean how many other posts on this website are designed to benefit this struggling world? They are most if not all pointless.

    No need to over exaggerate and be a troll.

    • Kiwi

      There is a distinct difference between trolling and expressing a sincere opinion. Bonzo's response indicates thought, and the purpose of art is to elicit such thought. Whether the response to it is positive or negative isn't necessarily important so long as the audience IS in fact responding. Though he obviously doesn't like it, Bonzo still took the time to reply to this post with an opinion. Just because that opinion happens to differ from your own not make him a troll.

  • raven sati

    Bonzo ! Yes ! lets get together and eat dog ! I have lots of avaiable livestock in the lane by my house in Bangkok

  • andi

    God. I really don’t want to be aquanted to the fish i’m eating.

  • ellimsg

    Mr Lehanneur is shamelessly courting publicity.

    Just call it a flower pot and aquarium tank. Don’t pretend otherwise. Come on… grow your own food in containers as lame as these????

  • lc

    I had never heard of aquaponics until this post (well actually the earlier post on Local River). My first thoughts? How to do it better. Theres a link on the other post’s set of comments for the real deal – http://www.aquaponics.net.au/ This is a fantastic idea! Just think of all the ways it can be developed! Maybe something along the lines of a large facility in the center of a metropolitan area? I could write at length, but to the point – less humbug and more idea shareing.

    (And yes, the glass jars are a little dopey looking)

  • Ben

    Ok if you think its such a bad idea why dont you come up with one?

  • Mistijen

    hey, I agree with Ic, loving the concept… been doing it for a year now!! I’m also experimenting with design styles. Many people have already come up with 100% working backyard and aquarium style systems. Me, I’m looking for innovative and prettiness. When something looks good and works even better, it’s easier to live with it and I play with it more. I have 2 systems running, and it’s fantastic!! You guys should look it up and try it… I dare you.

  • Moe

    backyardaquaponics.com gives you a more realistic version of this idea. Still, you can raise smaller fish in this system, grow herbs inside, then move the larger fishes outside once they are ready. don't criticize this idea. every step towards sustainability is a good one. if you have a better idea, go ahead and show the world, then enjoy how they criticize you.

  • Cool looking but needs far more plants and gravel to keep that amount of water filtered for the fish.

  • FleurHogenkamp

    I hate snakes!

  • sula

    ‘The Farm London’ is a shop which uses aquaponics to grow the food you buy. I don’t like the fish thing, there are more nutritionally useful pond weeds/algae which would do the same job. http://farmlondon.weebly.com/