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NCKU reveals Dutch designer's Green Dragon

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In celebration of Dragon Boat Festival, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) recently unveiled a design for a floating green dragon made by a Dutch designer.

Bart van Bueren, a visiting expert at NCKU's College of Planning and Design, designed the dragon as a tourist attraction. The design is made from recycled materials and will incorporate live plants.

The floating green dragon will be a collaborative effort among students, teachers and designers from NCKU and Dutch institutes and companies, according to van Bueren, a renowned architect from the Netherlands. He founded the Dutch Design Post in Tainan to support interesting collaborations like this.

He said that the rubber duck by fellow Dutch Designer Florentijn Hofman enjoyed tremendous popularity in Taiwan, displaying the power of a pop cultural icon. The floating green dragon is a similar concept, van Bueren said, adding that this time it is an icon deeply rooted in Asian culture.

“The Dragon comes with a message that we should stop polluting nature,” Van Bueren said. “We will clean up waste like plastic bottles, foam blocks and bamboo fishing nets and recycle these materials to build the green dragon. And then we will put sand and soil on it to grow plants like mangroves, helophytes, banyan and bamboo. The type of plants will depend on salt or fresh water at the site.”

The Dutch designer cited three possible locations to place the dragon, namely Taijiang National Park, Anping Harbor and Anping Canal. “This is to be decided by the Tainan municipality or sponsors, as we are still looking for help to close the business case.”

“The expertise will come from two Dutch companies, Drijvende Tuinen and Waterarchitect. Drijvende Tuinen has already made a lot of floating gardens in Amsterdam, Arno Baan is a true specialist in eco-structures like this,” said van Bueren. The Drijvende Tuinen team will visit Taiwan in September for the construction and a “flood adaptation” workshop at NCKU.

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Dutch designer Bart van Bueren smiles for the camera with concept art for the Floating Green Dragon on the monitor. (Courtesy of National Cheng Kung University)

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