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Rendered perspetive of people engaging with hydroponic boxes.
Kuisang Choi, Görkem Eskici, Ritu Mrnalini, Juan Varela, Li Xiangyu
Student Work M.S. AUD

The NOW Institute: Urban Agriculture

IDEAS Urban Strategy Studio
2019

The IDEAS Urban Strategy Studio with The NOW Institute treads the combinatory line between accentuating pre-existing urban relationships and reshaping them for new use cases. Projects range from residential to city-scale thinking and explore topics as diverse as sustainability, contemporary culture, artificial intelligence, autonomous mobility, sensing technology, extreme environments, and media-enhanced experiences. This past year, the studio explored three distinct issues.

Urban Agriculture
This year at The NOW Institute, five of our students are engaged in located sustainable solutions for urban farming in Los Angeles. There are two goals for this project. The first is an urban agenda with Council District 4, utilizing leftover, interstitial city-owned property to showcase how urban farming can be used to: reduce the prevalence of food deserts; reduce the amount of food wasted in transit to urban centers; and to support LA's ever-growing population with healthy food. The second goal is to design and construct the FarmBox, a stand-alone hydroponic unit. In conjunction with UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services, these FarmBoxes are deployed at strategic high traffic areas to be didactic and interactive with the students. Students are doing everything from fabricating the hydroponic system itself, designing its modular applications, and conducting extensive research into the need for urban farming as our planet's population blossoms and resources become increasingly scarce.

Related Faculty
Thom Mayne, Eui Sung-Yi
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