Vertical Ecology: The Hanging Garden Goes up at the Famous Brewery

Well a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a lot more than that. So this time around I won’t say much and let the pictures speak for themselves.

This five-level Hanging Garden, built from reclaimed plywood from the Reuse People was installed Tuesday afternoon at Philip Horvath’s loft in the Brewery. The hardest part was getting the ceiling – concrete, but above 3-1/2 inches of pure, white, crumble as you drill into it and of course, eco-friendly styrofoam – to take something from the hardware store strong enough, and long enough, to do the hanging part.

Getting the piece up in about 3 hours, was a real triumph and proves the concept at a whole new level, not to mention the fact that I’ve upgraded the craftsmanship considerably and used a coat of Peonfin oil for a long-term waterproof, beautiful and eco-friendly finish. Now it’s just a matter of further refining the product, testing some new materials and manufacturing approaches and staying in connection with Philip and Barry to see the piece get planted and move through a hopefully very long life cycle. I’ll be sure to update here as the plot thickens.

The video and still footage captured, some of which is shown here is also going to be quite a resource when the Kickstarter is launched for the Venice Community Garden build. Thanks for looking & if you’re interested in a Hanging Garden: markscottlavin-at-gmail-dot-com / 818.538.6586. Thanks!

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Mark Scott Lavin

By age six, Mark was building cities that touched the ceiling of his bedroom. As a teen he discovered the sustaining connectedness of the natural world in hiking and canoeing the Southwestern US and the creative power of culture through travels abroad. He developed a wide knowledge far beyond his high school curriculum and recognized by age 14 an unfolding life mission of learning and teaching how to create an abundant world where the creative power of nature, people and community were celebrated. In his early twenties, recently graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Mark initiated large-scale collaborations around the culturally recombinative Burning Man festival and jumped headlong into a career in the rigorous world of personal training and development during which he spearheaded automation of a $75 million company’s international financial reporting and launched salons that systematically investigated the levers of global peace and cultural reinvention. In his thirties Mark came home to a design-centered vision, earned a Masters Degree from SCI-Arc and a Permaculture Design Certificate and served on the core team that wrote Los Angeles’s award winning Integrated Regional Water Management Plan which integrates permaculture principles, a 100-year vision of full ecological rehabilitation of the Los Angeles River and the visions of over 1,400 stakeholder groups and agencies across a metropolitan area of 10 million people. Since 2009, Mark has thrown himself into urban ecological design/build and designed, built and consulted on more than a dozen structures including bamboo structures, super-adobe structures in Haiti and several geodesic tree houses and greenhouses with one of the most innovative tree house design/build firms in the world. Through his own entity formed in 2012, the invention studio Vertecology LLC (, Mark has been creating geodesic luminescent sculptures quickly gaining attention in the Los Angeles art scene, community scale rainwater harvesting systems, a home-scale hanging garden system that will soon go to manufacture, a line of pollinator habitats and a forthcoming line of e-books and curricula to support other makers in creating “vertical ecologies” or vertecologies of their own.

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