A dining table suggests a place to gather, to partake in a meal and to share stories. It changes from meal to meal, day to day. The Hydroponic Table embraces this constant change, becoming a form of time based sculpture, transforming as plants are grown, eaten and replanted. The table has potential to adapt to its environment both in scale and materials. In what spaces can we envision edibles and interior environments interacting? It asks, what is the future of food production and self sustenance, whether through individual impetus or necessity?
For this project we partnered with Youth Farm, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on education and leadership programs for youth, ages 9-24, focusing on urban agriculture. Located at the Youth Farm West Side greenhouse at Cherokee Heights Elementary school in St. Paul, Grow Up, features two types of hydroponic systems that grow primarily greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers throughout the year. These two distinct systems help to educate youth about intensive vertical hydroponic growing systems, while also providing lunch-time meals. The systems extend Youth Farm’s programming and access to fresh produce into Minnesota’s coldest winter months. Grow Up funding was generously provided by the DOVE Summer Research Fellowship and the Institute on the Environment.
2012, black & white poly, polystyrene, thread, gromets, pump, plants
We are living in a time where more than 50% of the world’s population live in urban areas. This phenomenon is causing our living environments to become increasingly dense and vertical. As a soilless growing method, hydroponics can adapt to existing urban infrastructures, serving as a catalyst to reexamine how city surfaces can be utilized. The Hydroponic Curtain functioned as a working model for alternative ways of thinking about public space, energy, and food production. It was designed and constructed in 2012 for the Regis Center for Art skyway in Minneapolis, MN.