Part 1: Demystifying Living Walls – Facts & Fiction
Living walls are igniting the imagination of designers everywhere. And what is not to like, for as encapsulated visions of nature with their seemingly perfect beauty contained on a wall or screen, they tend to idealize nature in the urban realm.
Organic edible gardens are a rising trend not only in the residential sector but also the corporate campus. In a recent New York Times article,it was noted thatas companies have less to spend on raises, health benefits and other typical employee perks, the latest craze is to let them dig in the dirt. Not only are companies such as Google, Yahoo and Sunset Magazine doing it, where organic may be part of the regional urban zeitgeist, this sustainable trend is catching on at more traditional based companies too. Planting and harvesting edibles to take home, incorporating fresh foods into the campus cafeteria menu, or even donating the harvested crops to a local food bank, are creative ways that allow employees a place to connect with nature, build morale and health, or give something back to the community. This eco-trend is one to watch to see if it will become just a passing fad or mark the beginning of a transformation into a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle across the country.
Seattle has declared 2010 the Year of Urban Agriculture in the city as a way to explore and expand on its vibrant culture of community gardening, farmer’s markets and regional farming . It’s generating community-wide discussion. The local radio station poses, “In many Asian countries over 60% of their food is grown in the City – what would that look like in Seattle?” At the University of Washington’s College of the Built Environment landscape architecture students organized a community charetteto explore design ideas for city farming.
Architecture for Humanityis a nonprofit organization with the mission of building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. Often using competitions as a platform for innovative ideas and projects AFH launched its first landscape based competition earlier this year ‘ Safe Trestle’.