Food drives many of our most primal emotions, and increasingly it is at the root of our deepest fears. The world’s population is growing rapidly; by 2050, 2.5 billion people will live in cities. At the same time, climate change is amplifying weather extremes – deserts are expanding and fertile land is becoming scarcer. The question is, how can we continue to feed so many people – and how can we do so in a way that doesn’t do further damage to the planet?
Power Plant’s transparent solar glass maintained its indoor climate, enabling year-round growth, while a hydroponic system circulated nutrientenriched water, reducing water use by 90 per cent compared to traditional soil farming. By growing vertically, and by using specifically coloured LEDs in addition to sunlight, plant growth can be increased by up to 40 times. “We hope to build a Kew Gardens of the 21st century,” said designer Marjan van Aubel, “where we celebrate modern technologies and grow the plants of the future.”
Power Plant also mounted an eloquent defence of the role of aesthetics in social design. By reimagining solar panels as desirable objects, van Aubel pointed out, they become more adaptable to different settings. “Solar energy doesn’t have to be ugly and can be implemented in the most unexpected places,” she said. “Design gives us the ability to imagine a future where efficiency and functionality are on an equal footing with beauty.”
Research to the 21st Century greenhouse, using modern technologies.
Power Plant is one of the winners of the Climate Action Challenge
This is an impression of a research trip to the island of Stromboli by James Shaw and Marjan van Aubel.
Foaming Wood is an investigation of wood shavings combined with a bioresin.
Both the Well Proven Collection and Table 1/7 resulted from this research.
Foaming expanding porcelain
At Caventou, we are redefining solar technology by rethinking our relationship with energy and the objects that use it.