Tuesday, August 19, 2008


On a recent trip to New York, I visited my ever favorite art space, P.S.1, excited to see this summer's courtyard installation. This year, the architecture project chosen for the MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program was WORK Architecture's P.F.1. P.F.1, standing for Public Farm 1, is an urban farm space constructed of large cardboard tubes that form a v-shaped plat form that dips in the middle around a central pool. The top surface of the structure acts as a working farm, producing produce and plants that are used in P.S.1's cafe as well as sold at an "absurdly local" farmer's market right in front of of P.S.1's entrance. The structure as also built totally of recycled materials, is powered 100% by solar power, and utilizes rain water for irrigation, bringing together sustainable agriculture with sustainable construction.

In addition, P.F.1 includes a small chicken coop as well as some fun interactive features. I particularly like the chicken coop; it smelled clean and had lots of space per chicken, obviously standing in stark contrast to any industrial farming chicken coop--these were happy chickens! There were also recordings of farm noises, such as cows mooing and sheep baaing, which were probably intended for little kids judging by how low they were to the grown, but were pretty darn enjoyable to play with during a Friday afternoon.

What I really liked about this project is how it makes principles of sustainable agriculture not only accessible in an urban environment, but visually engaging. In addition, I like that during the Saturdays of the summer season, New York's hipsters will be gathering in the quirky urban/agricultural space during Warm Up, making sustainable agriculture just a little bit cooler. So, if you're in New York at some point before September 15th, I would suggest visiting this rather nifty Urban Farm! Maybe you'll catch little kids swimming in the pool like I did...which I thought was a little strange, even if it was hot...

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