Architecture in Food
Human population is increasing at an exponential rate. Biological models have shown us that bacteria populations exponentially increase until a limiting factor such as lack of food, temperature of culture, or pH changes of the culture. The human race might not have problems with pH or temperature, global warming is a long and slow process, but lack of food could be an issue. It is therefore incredibly important that we find new ways to grow crops in innovative ways that can allow individual buildings to become self-sufficient. The technology is available and some projects to realise architectural designs for self-sustainable housing systems are already being put into place.
Below is an interesting video on exponential growth and the maths behind it that will help to explain the issues of exponential population growth:
City space is expensive and compact so is there really enough space for farming?
Vertical Farming is the answer. In the city there is great potential for blocks to grow their own food to help reduce their shopping costs, clean the air, and help to lower the ever increasing demand. Window farms, roof top farms, and Grow rooms are three different ways that food demands can be lowered. A Grow room is a spherical metal framework structure that allows wooden plant boxes to slide into the framework creating a wall of plants. Herbs can be grown on the lower stages of the Grow room to create a nice smelling area for people to come and sit and socialise. Each plant pot also has lights underneath to help the pants below receive more light for photosynthesis. The main idea for grow rooms can be used on the outside of tower blocks attached to walls. The plant pots could be on a rotating system that allows all the plants to be accessible from just one window on each floor.
Architects have the important goal of designing buildings that can incorporate food growing technology whilst offering safety to people below and being aesthetically pleasing. The Urban farming industry is set to take off in the imminent future as urban land becomes more expensive and companies look for more ways to make money. The running costs of such franchises are relatively low as solar panels or small wind turbines can be used to power the lights whilst the plants can be watered by rain water that is collected and then stored in tanks on the roof.
Nature is about to make a return to cities. The scheme is not only beneficial for helping the environment but also for helping wealthy people’s pockets so it is likely to take off relatively quickly now that efficient designs have been created. Hopefully the next few years will see the large scale implementation of grow rooms and grow buildings which will clean up city air, lower demand on farms allowing them to have more space for free range animals. The project is a win win and is the next new fad of architecture.