sealeaf provides floating hydroponic farming for coastal megacities
all images courtesy of sealeaf
sealeaf is a floating hydroponic farming system, designed to grow crops in coastal megacities, creating mass agriculture inside urban areas. the student team behind the design identified a problem: rapid urbanization is making cities lose their own local farming industry. their product promotes a new relationship between food production and place of consumption. ‘by 2015, a projected 340 million people will reside in the worlds 21 megacities, of which 18 are coastal. feeding these cities against a backdrop of explosive population growth, urbanization, rising sea levels, desertification and a demand for abundance will become a challenge beyond that of our existing infrastructure.’ the designers explain.
recently a student winner of the core 77 design awards for food design, sealeaf’s construction is defined by two typologies: a module, which opens to a hydroponic farming system — where crops can be grown and produced — and a walkway pontoon for access while afloat. the system allows urban farmers to cultivate food directly on the water, using irrigated rain water and natural sunlight, creating a local agricultural production that would lessen carbon miles incurred from mass importation and whose resulting goods could be sold at a reasonable price.
‘as a group of design students, our new point of view was also to address the problem of food miles and natural local production by basing our ideas around simple, inexpensive solutions and use as far as possible locally available resources such as solar energy, rainfall abundance in the tropical region (water resource) and local fish farming industry’ – sealeaf design team
six crops grow in sealeaf
demonstrating the function of the agricultural module
the construction is defined by a farming module, and a floating walkway
beneath the floating system
the module setup for six pak choi
a diagram indicated the technical functions of the sealeaf design