This year, the annual Christmas tree that decorates the Belgian city of Hasselt's main square is a unique design that doubles as a recycling project. Creative agency Mooz designers Inge Vanluyd and Stefan Vanbergen developed the project in collaboration with local city residents and, according to the town's vice-mayor Karolien Mondelaers, the concept symbolizes the traditional Christmas thoughts of spending time together and sharing a meal during the holidays. More than 3,000 residents contributed more than 5,000 pieces to complete the tree, which is made out of old, white porcelain plates and cups as well as various pieces with gold or blue embellishments.
Vanluyd and Vanbergen came up with the design, and they explain: "At home we all have odd plates and cups which just don’t go with anything and as a consequence never find their way out of the cupboard. We noticed that friends and family also had ‘spare’ plates hanging around the house. This was enough to get us thinking about a creative destination for these everyday objects. That’s how we ended up with a porcelain Christmas tree in the city of Hasselt, Belgium, ‘The Capital of Taste.’ We decorated the tree with objects which would otherwise have remained invisible."
The giant tree is almost 30 feet high and 20 feet wide and will stand in the square through January 6, 2013 to promote the spirit of solidarity throughout the city. There are mixed reviews about the design. Some residents adore the creative idea while others seek a more festive and traditional green holiday tree. It took one week to put the structure together and when the tree is taken down, the crockery will be smashed up and displayed on a parking lot as a new mosaic.