Design studio develops agro-urban prototype for cultivating plants and envisioning applicability to larger landscape developments
The future is unpredictable. From space, to air, to energy to food – many people have vast ideas and prophecies about what our future will look like in the race to be conservative, smart and efficient. To avoid a world filled with options like Soylent Green (the 1973 sci-fi thriller, with a setting in an overpopulated earth where people will eat and do just about anything to survive), new trends like cyber-gardening could allow us to envision what a fertile ecological way to produce our food might look like by applying the latest technologies and innovations to produce it.
London-based design company EcoLogicStudio has developed a new agro-urban prototype for plant and algae cultivation — a digital design project that combines urbanism, food manufacturing and ecology.
Algae, as raw material for food, fuel and chemicals, can provide new jobs to farmers and fishermen, and the cultivation can also contribute to the production of bio-energy — the project inquires the applicability to larger algae landscapes. Algae cultivation could offer new opportunities for economic development, specifically in places that may be seeing an aging population and fishing activities diminishing.
Equipped with ambient light, sensing technologies and a virtual interface, the hanging algae garden is self-reliant and consists of micro and macro algal organisms. Observations, data and results of the experiment can be tracked online, and people passing by the project can contribute by breathing into a tube, supplying the algae with additional CO2.
This kind of urban agriculture makes people think about sustainable systems, integrating the rural and urban landscape of the future. Cyber-Gardening the City is being exhibited at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam during the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2014, as part of the Urban Metabolism theme.