Vertical Theory

Vertical Theory: A Sustainable Approach to Urban Agriculture

This project originated as an industrial design graduate thesis project in the fall of 2009 and was completed for graduation purposes in the spring of 2010. Since May 2010 the project has continued to grow and evolve, including exhibitions at the 2010 New York World Maker Faire and the 2011 Bay Area Maker Faire.

Providing an alternative food source for urban dwellers, this vertical farming system utilizes hydroponic technologies, LED lighting, and felt. The current design requires minimal space, resources and maintenance to grow fresh food indoors. Further research is being conducted to incorporate sensors and alternative energy sources to maximize efficiency.

Responding to global climate change and continued population growth, Vertical Theory provides solutions for growing local and affordable food in urban settings. As the global population grows and the availability of food, water and energy resources become scarcer, alternative and efficient methods of farming will be essential to urban living.

Check out prototypes, events and more images from the project here.

Product Development Management Association 2010: 1st Place Graduate Paper Competition
Georgia Tech Research and Innovation Conference 2010: 2K Travel Grant

Public Appearances:
Pecha Kucha 2010
Ignite 2010
New York World Maker Faire 2010
Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School 2011
Bay Area Maker Faire 2011
The Science Barge 2011
New York Maker Faire 2011
Tactical Urbanism Salon 2011

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2011
ONE Prize
SOM Prize

Role: Individual Project: Industrial design graduate thesis project
Responsibilities: All aspects of this project were my responsibility including background research, benchmarking, prototyping and testing, market research, user research, ideation, presentations and visual designs.

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sustainability, urban agriculture, DIY, industrial design, product design, evidence-based design, design research