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Fantastical Soutions

There is a plethora of ideas on the meeting of urban environments and agriculture, especially from New York, NY. The ideas range from practical to fantastical, but all are adding to the conversation of agriculture in the urban environment. Many

The folks at Bright Farm Systems are providing design guidelines for transforming rooftop to gardens. Although there design are the most conservative of those highlighted in the post, it goes far beyond simply using raised beds and pots as the growing container. Bright Farms is demonstrating how to develop specialized systems of urban agriculture on building rooftops.

WORK ac: Locavor Fantasia

Locavore Fantasia by WORK ac

WORK ac, a New York based architecture firm, gets a spot on our blog for the second time in three weeks for the conceptual project title Locavore Fantasia. This is a unique idea on how we might start to integrate living space, open space, and food production in the heart of metropolitan areas. As the title of the project suggest, this is a foodies dream. Can you imagine dining on the twentieth floor of a building with an view of the New York skyline knowing all the ingredients were grown on site? Sounds amazing to me.

Terraform ONE: MATSCAPE and Green Brain

Another New York group working on the ideas of creating self sustaining cities is Terreform ONE. This group of architects and planners are producing innovative proposals for how to create designs with layers of a programmatic function.

MATSCAPE by Terraform
Mitchell Joachim

Although not specifically design to address issues of urban agriculture, the vegetated mats of the design could be utilized for growing food.

Green Brain by Terraform
Mitchell Joachim, Makoto Okazaki, Maria Aiolova, Emily VanderVeen, Yu Ping Hsieh

The following three projects by SOA Architects, Chris Jacobs and studiomobile, look further into the idea of vertical farming. All three are integrating farming into the buildings form and function. I think it is worth mentioning that each project attempts to address the cost of constructing and maintaining such buildings (pumping water up twenty floors, mechanical lighting to grow crops, heating and cooling) with varying degrees of success and specificity. After all, not much is accomplished if increasing food security requires the input of large amounts of natural resources. The success of these projects should be measured not only in the amount of food they produce but also the degree to which they reach their food production goals in a holistic manner.

SOA: Living Tower

The Living Tower by SOA Architects

Check out their You Tube video on the Living Tower

Chris Jacob: Sky Farm

The building layer by Chris Jacobs

Chris Jacobs

A rendering of a holistic building model were the by products of the farming process are used to meet the energy need of the building.

studiomobile: Seawater Vertical Farm


Here studiomobile shows how the design would answer the challenges of farming in a desert region. By using the process of osmosis the building transforms the readily available salt water of Dubai into fresh water for the farm.


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