EPISODE NINE: Agriculture meets architecture: It’s called Agritecture



You’ve heard of agriculture – and urban ag, or growing food in cities. And then there’s architecture.

And then, there’s agritecture.

Wait, agritecture?


The brains behind the concept is Henry Gordon-Smithlaunched agritcture.com a few years back as a blog to help promote the fact, that yes, you can grow food in the cities, and look cool doing it. The blog then turned into something even bigger. Much bigger. It’s expanded into news updates on actual projects, analysis about BIA trends, guest posts, and reporting on emerging technologies. And intense workshops.

At these workshops, participants are assigned a real-world task and challenged to come up with real solutions. Agritecture’s workshops are intense and they bring in many different industries under one roof to learn how to integrate growing food into buildings. From these workshops, attendees go back to their own cities and then hopefully get the ball rolling.

Tao Zhu Yin Yuan sustainable tower, under construction in Taiwan. Photo: Agritecture

So, what technology is being used? The technology behind growing food in dense cities falls on hydroponics and not soil. Championed and used by decades by cannabis growers, many cities are turning to the technology to grow food in places where growing food was unheard of just a few years ago.

And, how are they being designed? Adaptive reuse plays a role for sure, but new buildings are being driven by design – and by code. In the podcast, Henry explains how those amazing renderings of vertical farm on skyscrapers could actually get built.

What cities are making inroads in vertical farming and growing food? Each city is different and each are doing various degrees of food growing. One city leading the charge? Atlanta. Henry has also seen changes in New York city – where he lives – with some challenges.

At the end of the day, what can a city farm or vertical farm yield? High tech farms are very productive. They’re not going to feed a whole city but what Henry is seeing across the US – across the world – makes him optimistic.

For more on what Agritecture go here.  There, you’ll find urban and vertical farming news, business, and design. You’ll also find where upcoming workshops including Los Angeles on March 31 & April 1 and Baltimore on April 21 & 22.

Music courtesy of Sounds like an Earful. Tracks: Chill Synth and Videogame-ish Intro from Creative Commons Vol. 1 (Check them out – they have a slew of great, free music.)



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