Sound The Mound

Addressing Complex Issues through Art, Technology, and Ecology


Would standing on a towering mound of trash convince you to consume less? Sound the Mound tackles this question with projects that reframe our relationship to waste. Together with our partners, Freshkills Park—once the world’s largest landfill, Arable Labs—a climate monitoring and management system, and Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School, we are creating high school curriculum, technology-driven public art installations, and exhibitions that actively engage New Yorkers with the impact that our consumer habits have on our ecosystems.

Sound the Mound was launched in 2016 in the Transdisciplinary Design Program at Parsons School of Design and continues to evolve through a series of courses in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons. Our goal is to work with our students and our partners to generate projects that culminate with the public opening of the first phase at Freshkills Park in 2020. There are three main threads that run through our ongoing work:

  • A public art project that uses remote sensing technology developed by Arable Labs to create a sonic engagement with the evolving ecology of Freshkills Park that can be experienced on site or online.
  • A curriculum developed in partnership with Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning High School that focuses on the impact of consumer behavior on our environment. The curriculum encourage students to discover for themselves the steps they can take to lead more sustainable lifestyles.
  • An exhibition that showcases our multi-year collaboration with Freshkills Park, Arable Labs, and Gaynor McCown, highlighting the urgent need to address the mounting impact that our consumer behavior has on our planet. The exhibition and catalogue will position Sound the Mound alongside the work of artists and designers who explore the intersection of technology, education, consumption, waste, and climate.

Sound the Mound aims to collectively engage our partners in a co-creation process that involves designing and testing experiential learning activities that bridge the siloed curriculum in today’s school system—science, art, and humanities. Ultimately through the three threads of the project we hope to showcase sustainability concerns and explore new approaches to changing individual consumer behavior.





Parsons School of Design. Transdisciplinary Design


Transdisciplinary Design PROJECTS STUDIO 1, Fall 2016


In progress (Start date: 08/09/2016)


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