Since the emergence of the design profession, boosted in the Industrial Revolution with the increasing production of objects and the desire of a middle class eager to consume; designers, interior decorators and architects are known as professionals who create spaces and products to beautify the world.
Urban Farming: The Latest Architecture and News
On March 31st, the Health and Nutrition Day is celebrated in Brazil, factors that are gaining more and more notoriety in the society in which we live. After more than two years living through the ups and downs of the Covid-19 pandemic and facing the evident need for a healthier, more active and community reality, it is important to reflect on how architecture and urbanism can become tools for accessing healthier daily lives.
Since before the first industrial revolution, sociologists, historians, and urban planners have been addressing the relationship between the city and the countryside, but this debate has become more pressing nowadays with the spread of megacities, typically with a population of more than 10 million people. With more and more people living in urban areas, it is imperative to think of solutions for food production within cities, thereby making cities more independent from rural areas, which have historically been responsible for the supply of food to the entire planet.
The idea that cities will become self-sufficient in food production in the near future is both unrealistic and naive. Nevertheless, small initiatives such as urban gardens, either at home or public gardens run by the community, might be a good starting point for a much bigger change in the future. Or perhaps they simply represent a desire to return to one's roots and achieve a slightly slower lifestyle.
Extreme natural events are becoming increasingly frequent all over the world. Numerous studies indicate that floods, storms, and sea-level rise could affect more than 800 million people worldwide, ultimately costing cities $1 trillion per year by the middle of the century. This suggests that urban survival depends on addressing urban vulnerability as a matter of urgency to protect the city and the population.
In increasingly denser urban environments, there is a new-found interest in underused spaces as opportunities for further development. Representing up to 25% of cities' land area, rooftops are among the most exciting spatial resources. From sustainable infrastructure and urban farming to social spaces and cultural venues, the article looks into the potential of creating a multi-layered city through the activation of urban rooftops.
Framlab, an innovation studio based in Bergen and New York City has created Glasir, a community-based system for urban farming. The proposed modular structure relies on aeroponic growth systems to provide local products.
The Netherlands is the world’s second-biggest exporter of agricultural products. This is remarkable when one considers that the only country which tops the Netherlands, the United States, is 237 times bigger in land area. Nevertheless, the Netherlands exported almost $100 billion in agricultural goods in 2017 alone, as well as $10 billion in agriculture-related products. The secret to the Netherlands’ success lies in the use of architectural innovation to reimagine what an agricultural landscape can look like.
Indoor gardens can contribute important benefits to home living, ranging from aesthetic beauty to improved health and productivity. Research has shown that indoor plants help eliminate indoor air pollutants called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that emanate from adhesives, furnishings, clothing, and solvents, and are known to cause illnesses. They also increase subjective perceptions of concentration and satisfaction, as well as objective measures of productivity. Indoor gardens may even reduce energy use and costs because of the reduced need for air circulation. These benefits complement the obvious aesthetic advantages of a well-designed garden, making the indoor garden an attractive residential feature on several fronts.
Dubai Based architects Islam El Mashtooly and Mouaz Abouzaid along with Steven Velegrinis, Drew Gilbert & Abdelrahman Magdy have unveiled “LifeLines,” their vision for the future of Cairo. Centered on the idea of connecting people with water, a series of lines and paths are laid over the city to serve as a catalyst for development.
Tom Dixon and IKEA have developed “Gardening Will Save The World,” an experiment in urban farming to be exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. Exploring the contrast of the hyper-natural and hyper-tech, the garden offers ideas in alternative, local, and more sustainable ways of growing food.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures has unveiled images of their tribute to Notre-Dame Cathedral following the fire that badly damaged the historic structure. A transcendent project that forms a symbol of a resilient and ecological future, the project is inspired by biomimicry and a common ethic for a fairer symbiotic relationship between humans and nature.
MVRDV has broken ground on a wholesale market for fruit and vegetables in Tainan, Taiwan. Defined by a terraced, accessible green roof, the open-air market will serve as both an important hub in Taiwan’s supply chain, and a destination for meeting, socializing, and taking in views of the surrounding landscape.
Named the “Tainan Xinhua Fruit and Vegetable Market,” the MVRDV scheme transforms an often-prosaic aspect of the food industry into a public experience of food and nature. Located in a strategic position between the city and mountains, with good public transport links, the scheme sits at a convenient node for traders, buyers, and visitors.
Studio NAB has released details of their proposed Superfarm project, a six-story exercise in indoor urban farming that “focuses its production on the culture of foods with a high nutritional value.” The project is founded on the principles of pragmatic implementation, high-yielding foods, reducing health risks, promoting short circuits, reviving economies, energy self-sufficiency.
The scheme is a response to the projections that by 2050, 80% of the earth’s population will live in urban centers, demanding an area of farmland 20% more than is represented by the country of Brazil. By moving farm systems indoors, Superfarm represents an “ecological transition” that is resilient, human-sensitive, and technologically advanced.
It is, once again, the time of year where we look towards the future to define the goals and approaches that we will take for our careers throughout the upcoming year. To help the millions of architects who visit ArchDaily every day from all over the world, we compiled a list of the most popular ideas of 2018, which will continue to be developed and consolidated throughout 2019.
Over 130 million users discovered new references, materials, and tools in 2018 alone, infusing their practice of architecture with the means to improve the quality of life for our cities and built spaces. As users demonstrated certain affinities and/or demonstrated greater interest in particular topics, these emerged as trends.
In a design proposal for Soprema’s new company headquarters in Strasbourg, France, Vincent Callebaut Architectures envisions an 8,225 square-meter ecological utopia. The building, called Semaphore, is described in the program as a “green flex office for nomad co-workers” and is dedicated to urban agriculture and employee well-being.
An eco-futuristic building, Semaphore is inspired by biomimicry and intended as a poetic landmark, as well as aiming to serve as a showcase for Soprema’s entire range of insulation, waterproofing, and greening products. The design is an ecological prototype of the green city of the future, working to achieve a symbiosis between humans and nature.