in today’s technology-charged society, innovation is allowing us to bridge the ever-present gap between nature and urban life. in thinking about this interconnectivity, carlo ratti associati has curated and designed an interactive exhibition, which delves into the evolving relationship between cityscapes and the natural world. the show looks at artifacts and initiatives that harmonize these two fundamental aspects of humanity. ‘the green & the gray’ is presented as part of EDIT — a ten-day festival for design, innovation and technology in toronto and produced by design exchange, whose overarching theme for this inaugural edition is ‘prosperity for all’.


rendering of the green & the gray exhibition at EDIT

 

 

 

‘I have always been fascinated by the words of french anarchist geographer elysée reclus‘, says ratti on thinking about the themes behind the exhibition. ‘at the end of the 19th century, reclus wrote: ‘man should have the doubled advantage of access to the pleasures of the city […], the opportunities offered for the study and practice of art, and at the same time should be able to enjoy the freedom that lies in nature, and which is explained in the field of its vast horizon’. the green & the gray, with its stendhalian title, aims to explore how, thanks to new technologies, we can finally contribute to reclus’ vision of marrying city and nature’.


‘supertree grove’ by grant associates are developed as vertical gardens, displaying tropical flowering climbers
(also main image | image © darren chin) see more about the project on designboom here 

 

 

 

‘the green & the gray’ — housed within a former factory that hosts EDIT’s diverse program of events — comprises a 2000 square-foot immersive environment where visitors can explore living elements seamlessly integrated with manmade ones. furthermore, a special surface of thin transparent material layered on the floor seeks to give viewers the impression of walking over water.


the ‘lowline lab’ by raad studio is an underground park in new york | image by limor garfinkle, courtesy the lowline
see more about the project on designboom here 

 

 

as they meander around the exhibition environment, festival-goers can discover work in the fields of urban development, housing and product design, hydroponics, sensors for climate engineering, vertical gardens and sensitive lighting systems. featured projects include grant associates’ ‘supertree grove’ in singapore, an underground park in new york city by raad studio, and the ‘pikaplant’ shelf that automatically waters your plant. overall, the underlying theme connecting all selected works is the vision a thriving future for local communities worldwide.


SPARK combines residential living for seniors with vertical urban farming in a scheme for singapore
see more about the project on designboom here 


the ‘pikaplant’ shelf automatically waters your plants
see more about the project on designboom here 


susana soares designed alternative medical tools that use bees to accurately diagnose a vast variety of diseases


the ‘cricket shelter/modular insect farm’ by terreform ONE surveys the impending food crisis
image © mitchell joachim


the ‘andrea’ air purifier by mathieu lehanneur uses indoor plants to filter air
see more about the project on designboom here 


carlo ratti designed a pavilion where people can engage with digitally-augmented farming for FICO eataly world


‘treepedia’ by MIT senseable city lab explores the green canopy in cities around the world (toronto pictured here)


the ‘arctic food network’ by lateral office explores the role of architecture in shaping northern identity

 

 

project info:

 

CRA team: carlo ratti, giovanni de niederhausern, emma greer, chiara borghi, gary di silvio, gianluca zimbardi, melanie imfeld, daniele belleri

 

exhibitors: grant associates (supertree grove); lateral office (arctic food network); lowline lab (lowline); mathieu lehanneur (andrea); MIT senseable city lab (underworlds, treepedia); modular farms (modular farms); pikaplant (pikaplant); philippe rahm for artemide (spectral light); rebuild by design (rebuild by design); scape landscape architecture (living breakwaters); SPARK (homefarm); susana soares (bee); terreform ONE (cricket shelter), transsolar (reversio); carlo ratti associati (FICO eataly world)

 

 

EDIT is a 150,000-square-foot immersive experience that envisions a world transformed by unparalleled design, innovation and technology solutions. produced by design exchange, in partnership with the united nations development programme (UNDP), the inaugural festival will ignite conversations through an array of curated exhibits, compelling talks, and inspiring installations. inviting some 100,000 visitors to east harbour (formerly unilever soap factory) in toronto’s port lands, EDIT challenges visitors and participants to consider how we can make the world a better place.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news