Jack and the Beanstalk

October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

A couple of years ago, my brother turned me onto TED, a small nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then, its scope has become ever broader. The TED website is a collection of the most interesting and compelling speakers and ideas you’ll find. I have been a devout fan since I learned of this site. Last night the Museum of Science and Industry hosted a TEDx event. The “X” means that this event was locally organized and open to the public; their conferences are not.

Last night’s theme was food. And although the talks on food science, by the chefs at Moto, and on urban food deserts were very compelling, the talk by Prof. Dickson Despommier about vertical farming spoke to me in a different way. The concept is a simple one and allows for great efficiency regarding the 3 key components of agriculture: land, water and sun. Equally important, it has generated amazing design work that not only is beautiful but also has the potential to change the course of man’s exploitation of the planet’s finite resources. Too much?

The bottom line is the architecture is great, check out some of the concepts I found most compelling.

Vertical Farming Detail














The Living Tower by Pierre Sartoux

















Romses Architects Vancouver 2030 Challenge

















Gordon Graff's Toronto Proposal


















Chris Jacob's Vertical Farm











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