Brooke Singer
art, inquiry, action
Carbon Sponge is an interdisciplinary collaboration examining the idea that urban soils can sequester carbon as a means to mitigate anthropogenic greenhouse gases and build new soil. The project bridges art/science to promote participatory science and transparency in research as well engage broad audiences in issues like land use, climate activism and urban nature.

Carbon Sponge launched at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) in Queens in 2018 and ran through 2019. A second Carbon Sponge garden was planted in Spring/Summer 2019 at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. In 2020, we partnered with five organizations in NYC (Bronx River Alliance’s Foodway, GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden on Governors’ Island, Red Hook Farms and Prospect Farms) to pilot our kit, forming a group of land stewards to discuss urban carbon farming. In 2021, we additionally partnered with New York University’s Urban Farm Lab and two farms in Upstate NY (Sugarshack Mushrooms and White Feather Farm).

I initiated the project while a Designer in Residence at NYSCI (2018-2019) in collaboration with Dr. Sara Perl Egendorf, Dr. Maha Deeb, Marisa Prefer and Katharhy G. Partnerships include: CUNY Advanced Scientific Research Center (ASRC), the Jacob Riis Settlement House at NYCHA Ravenswood, NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) and La Casita Verde (a NYC GreenThumb garden). Funders have included NYSCI, Patagonia, Brooklyn Arts Council, Globetrotter Foundation and ASRC.


Read in Art in America article “Symbiotic Art” by Claire Pentecost with mention of Carbon Sponge from March 2022.

Read the New York Times article “The City’s Buried Treasure is not Under the Dirt. It is the Dirt” with mention of Carbon Sponge from July 25, 2018.