Fine strips of light fabric, attached to the ventilation grills of the metro, sway in the breeze of the ventilators.

Although indispensable for the underground functioning of the metro, the ventilation at ground level is seen as a nuisance. This warm, vitiated, unexploited air can, however, be used as an excuse and a basis for an unexpected sight. Undulating with a continuous rustling, this installation gives us the image of a different sort of nature – an ephemeral, spontaneous urban nature.

Images of algae, paddy fields and grasses are conjured up in the imagination of passers-by, who are hypnotized and comforted as if by the flickering of a fire. Herbes Folles appropriates the ventilation grills, slowing down the rhythm of the pavement and the surprised passers-by at street corner. The systematic installation of 200 ventilation outlets allows this spontaneous and surprising event to be conceived of on the scale of the whole city.



  • Name : Herbes Folles
  • Client : RATP - Ville de Paris
  • Place : Paris
  • Date : 2001
  • Mission : Full
  • Budget : 60 000 €
  • Architects : Encore Heureux
  • Photographer : Sébastien Normand


Paris, France