A Tree-Shaped Piece of Architecture Could Be the Future of Farming
Framlab, an architecture and technology innovation studio, has a futuristic approach to agriculture and farming. The studio, based in New York and Bergen, wants to provide urban neighborhoods with affordable, local produce year-around with Glasir, a project that grows produce by combining the flexibility of modularity with the efficiency of aeroponic growth systems in an effort to reduce our environmental footprint. According to the project’s press release, the world population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050—so agriculture would need to double in size to serve the population. Framlab’s proposition to feed the people? Glasir, a tree-shaped urban farming solution.
When we say “tree-shaped,” we literally mean tree-shaped: Glasir’s design takes on the likeness of a tree. As such, it could be installed just about anywhere a tree could be planted without disrupting the surrounding space, such as a sidewalk, backyard, public park, and etc. In simplest turns, how Glasir works is like this: it combines technology, sensors, and other endless numbers of configuration that draw on environmental conditions such as solar gain, temperature levels, prevailing winds, and adjacent structures. It then adapts accordingly to these factors to ensure optimized growth conditions for the produce and vegetables.
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Citing the rapid rise of food insecurity in Brooklyn between 2009 and 2014, Glasir’s overall aim to provide affordable, local produce is threefold: to “boost the nutritional profile” of residents’ diets, to “plant the seed for societal and economic betterment in these neighborhoods,” and to create “visibility and awareness around the importance of greens and vegetables” with the unique tree-shaped design. The appearance is truly something to behold. It takes on an almost art installation-like design. The tree-shaped Glasir also lights up come nightfall, emitting a soft pink glow.
Could this perhaps be the future of urban farming and architecture? One thing’s for sure: the fight against food insecurity has never looked this artistic.