About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3417-3427
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE URBAN PATCH: STUDENT RESEARCH, APPLIED INNOVATIVE URBAN FARM TECHNOLOGY AND SPATIAL DESIGN

J.O. Gordon

Georgia Institute of Technology (UNITED STATES)
One of the challenges of architectural design studio instruction is to help the students understand that thinking with technology is thinking creatively. This paper will address the creative aspects of architectural thinking and production with technological research.

In any studio, the brief is the starting point for the students, the given brief in August 2012 was as follows:

"The Urban Patch

Urban | adjective | of, pertaining to, or designating a city
Patch | noun | a small field, plot, or garden, especially one in which a specific type of plant grows or is cultivated. |verb | to mend, cover, or strengthen with or as if with a patch or patches.

In 2020 there will be 8 billion people to feed in the world.
The world’s food supplies are now in flux - a solution? Dickson Despommier, PhD, and Professor at Columbia University, convincingly envisions large scale vertical farming in his book, The Vertical Farm - a brilliant response but yet still a vision. However, across America - and the world - urban rooftops and empty lots are becoming food sources. Locally sourced food is now preferred item for consumption.

How can we start to solve this issue? By starting small.
“Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology….We must therefore study…the possibilities of evolving an alternative system which might fit the new situation." E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful - Economics as if People Mattered. The program is a hybrid of architectural spaces totaling 20,000 square feet. Architecture at the local and small scale is the solution.

And we know that green spaces are good for mental health, as well as, our physical health.
“Interaction with gardens and natural spaces offers a variety of mental, physical and social benefits for humans, ranging from stress reduction, quicker healing…to decreasing crime and air pollution.” Dr. Susan Barton, University of Delaware, “The Healing Garden: Social Research.”

But it is not just about farming. It’s about the enjoyment of life.
We have been told the benefits of red wine and dark chocolate. We understand the advantages of socialization.

The Urban Patch is a small scale architectural response to restore the urban fabric, the neighborhood, our community, and ourselves.”

From this starting point the students engaged the following areas of research: quantity of food needed to feed the neighborhood; keeping of bees, chickens, fish in the city and their quantity and yield; orchards in the city; sustainability methods; innovative interior urban farming practices (small scale): hydroponics, fogponics, aquaponics; vertical gardens/green roofs, environmental conditions, and types of plants (fruits and vegetables) and the quality and quantity of light required for maximum yield of these various plants.

This research was crossed with the 20,000 square feet architectural program - a hybrid of spaces: galleries, bar/lounge, cinema/lecture hall, farm stand with yogurt/juice bar, educational spaces and exterior growing spaces, each student investigated these programmatic relationships and site.

From these shared aims, each student produced an innovative architectural project/building located on one of two sites, Auburn Avenue and Marietta Street, in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.
@InProceedings{GORDON2013URB,
author = {Gordon, J.O.},
title = {THE URBAN PATCH: STUDENT RESEARCH, APPLIED INNOVATIVE URBAN FARM TECHNOLOGY AND SPATIAL DESIGN},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {3417-3427}}
TY - CONF
AU - J.O. Gordon
TI - THE URBAN PATCH: STUDENT RESEARCH, APPLIED INNOVATIVE URBAN FARM TECHNOLOGY AND SPATIAL DESIGN
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 3417
EP - 3427
ER -
J.O. Gordon (2013) THE URBAN PATCH: STUDENT RESEARCH, APPLIED INNOVATIVE URBAN FARM TECHNOLOGY AND SPATIAL DESIGN, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 3417-3427.
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