sealeaf provides floating hydroponic farming for coastal cities sealeaf provides floating hydroponic farming for coastal cities
oct 17, 2013

sealeaf provides floating hydroponic farming for coastal cities

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.



sealeaf – extended cut
video courtesy of sebastiaan wolzak




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.



the sealeaf floating farming system



‘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

  • Aztecs did this 700 years ago. They were called “chinampas”.

    Gonzalo says:
  • it would be easier to return to a more natural and healthy life instead of populating our cities with these plastic objects.

    Stefano says:

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