Form Follows Food: An examination of architecture's role in urban farming
With rising global urban populations, existing food infrastructure systems are rapidly becoming unsustainable. Increasing distances between rural food production and urban residents extends to a conceptual divide and misguided understanding of what activities ought to be classed as ‘rural’ versus ‘urban’. Some of those looking for alternative solutions note food’s potential to act as an organiser of urban systems and catalyst for sustainable living. However the concept of sustainability is often sidelined in photorealistic renders where designs are decorated with organic matter, designs that are unlikely to be viable. Tapping into food’s potential and with the readily available space of urban rooftops, the thesis explores rooftop urban farming to speculate the opportunities it presents in the city of Wellington, New Zealand. In relation to this important social, economic and ecological infrastructure, the thesis investigates how the potential for urban farming, from production to trading and consumption contributes to a sense of place through architectural interpretation. While widening the discussions of food and the city, architecture provides the built accommodation for both plants and people, so that the ‘urban future’ can be reevaluated.