This is the new face of urban farming.
As more designers set out to create the next best alternative to traditional farming in an effort to bring fresh food to more people, one firm decided to look away from vertical set-ups and turned instead to a spherical design for their intelligent masterpiece. Dubbed the Plug-In Ecology: Urban Farming with Agronomy, Terreform ONE, a non-profit architectural group that aims to promote smart designs that bring nature back to New York City, worked on this project as one of many efforts to bring city farming to residents.
Described as a “living cabin,” the urban pod is at the forefront of farming technology with loads of features to ensure the success of the produce. In using the principles of agronomy, which takes into account the environmental impacts of agriculture and the creation of healthier food, designers developed this food production capsule that “plugs in ecology” where agriculture is scarce by making it available in the home.
The aim of the cabin is “for individuals and urban nuclear families to grow and provide for their daily vegetable needs.”
The pod is a product of the firm’s exploration into mixing farming with furniture, but the actual structure is so much more. The sphere was made out of reclaimed flat-packed materials and can be resized to be 4 to 15 feet in diameter, with each pod panel performing a specific function. Each panel features a central pot that is gravity-fed and is meant to house traditional vegetables, herbs, and fruits, and then the secondary planters apply the principles of agronomy by using cell culture growth to grow produce rather than traditional seedlings. The new growth can then be replanted into a central pot.
As far as technology, the Urban Farm Pod has a digital monitoring system that can upload each plant’s vitals to the web in order to track its progress and health. The pod can be adapted to serve as a bioluminescent light source because of its inside capabilities and the fully operable sub irrigation system makes it easy to maintain the crops. It can also be flat-packed to make shipping to anywhere in the world easier.
“The vision of the project is to bring back the relationship between human and nature,” said the designers. “Let’s grow our own food inside an urban space, be it living room, balcony or roof top of your home or in an urban park for large scale production. The future pods will have a new form of mediated arboreal culture, to integrate the biological and mechanical elements more closely, to transform the object into one that grows and changes symbiotically. The Plug-In Ecology project sets out a direction for healthy biological exchanges with urban inhabitants, and to contribute to the life of urban ecosystems.”
On top of all these awesome features, co-founder of Terreform ONE, Mitchell Joachim, said that the inside of the pod is open for entry by humans, meaning that one person can go inside if they want to be closer to nature or enjoy the lights or two people can enter and enjoy a close conversation. The possibilities for this pod are endless, as its adaptability mixed with the stylish properties make it likely to do well in modern cities.
Watch the video below to hear Joachim talk about the pod.