gionata gatto: 'urbanbuds' portable garden gionata gatto: 'urbanbuds' portable garden
may 14, 2010

gionata gatto: 'urbanbuds' portable garden

designboom previously featured eindhoven-based italian designer gionata gatto of studio atùppertù‘s ‘urbanbuds’ project, a portable garden, shaped in the form of movable suitcases and filled with soil. we’ve now updated the article to give you a better idea of how this movable garden system works and to announce that gatto invites you the presentation of ‘urbanbuds’ at sotheby’s. you will be able to try out the project for six months and discover the pleasure of cultivating food in a community urban space!

sotheby’s london 12th-17th may 2010 34-35 new bond street london W1A 2 AA

gionata gatto’s urbanbuds – urban movable gardens

‘would you cultivate food in the city, meeting new people in new spaces?‘

today’s world cities are experiencing demographic changes with increased local populations. this demographic change includes the increase of different cultural backgrounds as well as the increased presence of foreigners in specific city areas. the presence of numerous multi-ethnic groups often brings the constitution of neighborhoods and quarters, characterized by a variegated identity. the formation of urban areas where different cultures are used to cohabiting, collaborating and engaging in a dialogue together, contributes to the affirmation of new communities. as a consequence, those communities very often become more active, present and autonomous in these territories.

for this reason, aspects such as the conformation of an urban area, the activities proposed in its spaces, the involvement of citizens in its development and the re-evaluation of unused grounds, can massively contribute to the quality of relations between residents and their cultures. ‘urbanbuds’ uses the concept of food as a sign of cultural identity. in fact every person has his own taste and preferences in choosing the seeds to plant, but the very interesting thing about food concerns the aspect of personalization, since all the people involved in this type of activity visualize their personality through gardening.

the design of this project involves the metaphor of a suitcase as a symbol of cultural background. we all are use to saying that wherever we move, we bring with us our backpack of culture, background… our so-called ‘bag of experiences’. the design takes influence from this picture and it transforms it into the product of movable, soil-filled suitcases. families can grow vegetables and fruit on the sides of the bags. each one of them allows the growth of about thirty-six different plants, which can sprout vertically along the fabric.

unloved, left over, transit spaces can become excellent opportunities to introduce ‘urbanbuds’ to its inhabitants. people can transform those unused spaces into areas completely dedicated to socialization, where they can cultivate their own vegetable garden, meet new neighborhoods and create relationships.

‘urbanbuds’ is a design academy eindhoven graduation project, and displayed as part of the ‘questions’ exhibition curated by ilse crawford and anne mieke eggenkamp, in collaboration with janice blackburn first shown at milan design week 2010. this exhibition at sotheby’s is ‘questions’ current venue.

  • this work is very interesting.
    the idea of growing food on your own in public spaces make me think about new possibilities for use common spaces. furthermore I believe it is very important nowadays to grow organic food in alternative ways.
    I really like the design!!!

    Paul k.

    Paul K. says:
  • Excellent idea!

    Nice and pratic.

    Celeste Raposo says:
  • My mom loves your work!! and Me too!!

    Great idea!!

    winifield pooh says:
  • Nice idea, but damned ugly…

    Dr. Design says:
  • déjà vu

    a.d.k.v says:
  • it might be ugly and deja vu but it is going in the right direction and asking the right questions. Maybe take this idea further…make it wild, beautiful, surprising.

    mr says:
  • I never said it wasn’t interesting, but…well…it might raise the right questions but it gives a very contraddidcting answer: the green element becomes a sort of a gadget, something so alien to the urban context that it is treated more like a personal accessory than something strisctly related to the territory. It’s a declaration of defeat, when you admit that the only way of having urban gardens is to make them portables and to reduce them to a purely social matter. I personally find it a very good idea to get people from different culture to interact through gardening in cities, but I just get the wrong feeling that it is only possible changing the meaning of gardening…and to me that legitimates our cities to go on being places where the green factor cannot be integrated.

    …but that’s only my personal interpretation!

    a.d.k.v says:
  • I see your point. But it is still faster and cheaper to set up portable gardens than ripping up hard landscaping or structures. We are talking about introducing green into existing concrete jungle which I find a nice idea. It is very easy to sit back and criticise others work instead of doing something actively and coming up with good ideas yourself.

    andrea says:
  • A good beginning. Can see it grow to where hydroponics and a system where one doesn’t have to bend to “tend the garden” coming into being d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • It all boils down to civility. In Portugal they plants fruit tress in publics areas BUT ONLY the sour species so NOBODY will pick them up. Growing veggies and sharing is great, I tried that in Almada, Portugal just to have te neighbors schocked with my hippie tendencies! Go figure!

    USAinEurope says:
  • VERY NICE IDEA I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE MATERIAL YOU HAVE USED IN THE MAKING OF THE CONTAINER??

    NIDASHAH says:
  • @andrea:

    1. I’m not criticizing for the sake of it, I’m just sharing my own interpretation. If I thought it was a useless project I wouldn’t even bothered writing

    2. you’re deducing that I’m sitting back…where did you get it from?

    3. if we can only express opinions on fields where we’re actively involved in, than 90% of human kind should just shut up…and that won’t be of any good…

    a.d.k.v says:
  • @ a.d.k.v
    I did not mean to offend you, sorry if I did. Dont take this discussions too personal and be on the defensive. We all have different opinions which is good. the sitting back comment was based on your intelectual approach that did not show any other solutions. if you have any I invite you to share them with us and we are happy to take them up.

    andrea says:
  • As a person who has spent the past 13 years traveling and have now shifted focus to creating a home and garden – I relate to the growing suitcase for different reasons.

    I would love to create my own! Could I create one from thrift store luggage?

    What plants did they find grew well in this situation?

    Ruth says:

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