The Growroom: Architecture that feeds the city

The Growroom urban farm explores how cities can feed themselves through architecture that produces food locally.

Future-living lab SPACE10 created the Growroom urban farm with architects Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm. The orb-like living architectural structure aims to provoke conversations about how we can bring nature back into our cities and grow our own food. It’s a conversation that is increasingly important as demand for food around the world rapidly increases and the space to farm decreases. 

Filled with herbs, veggies, and edible plants from floor to ceiling, The Growroom is an artistic exploration of the incredible potential of urban farming. Current farming systems are driven by scale, chemicals and fuel. Food from industrial farms travels thousands of miles to get to our tables, using significant amounts of fuel and fresh water in production, transport and cooling. And then on top of that, more than a third of the food is wasted. The food systems needs to be diversified. 

The architects and the designers at SPACE10 have used the space to imagine a future where we grow much more food in the cities themselves, creating self-sustaining ecosystems that supply citizens with high quality, fresh produce throughout the year. As well as a ready and local supply, urban farms can be designed to not put extra strain on the environment and on the limited fresh water supplies. 

Urban farming is starting to increase in popularity and feasibility. IKEA have launched grow-at-home kits meaning that anyone can be a small-scale farmer and new technologies (including artificial lights and smart hydroponic systems) are enabling the larger-scale urban farmer to ensure that his crops get exactly the right amount of water, light, nutrients and oxygen. The modern urban farm is actually able to grow plants much faster than in fields, using much less water and producing much less waste. And its proximity to its consumers means the carbon footprint caused by transportation is also almost eradicated. 

As well as the lab, SPACE10 is also an exhibition space. Its purpose is to explore and experiment in new design innovations and to develop business models for the future, creating more sustainable futures for as many people as possible. 

SPACE10 co-created The Growroom together with architects Mads-Ulrik Husum & Sine Lindholm, interaction designer Thomas Sandahl Christensen and gardener Sebastian Dragelykke, Tradium and Raaschou and was recently exhibited at CHART ART FAIR and VICE’s Munchies Festival in Copenhagen’s Meatpacking district. 

NOTE: As of 17 February 2017, The Growroom is now open source. 

Watch the Talk with Issa Diabaté