I asked my dad, “Do engineers in Nepal design farms?”
He said, “I haven't heard of anybody designing farms.”
But that isn't all true. Scientists at the MIT Media Lab- Caleb Harper's team has been making food computers and aim to create detailed opensource agriculture data that people around the world can access and apply to their farming and increase productivity.And it is amazing to note that the project does not use soil, recycles water and uses only selective artificial lighting. Vertical farms have been revolutionizing farming in the United States, Japan and many other countries; increasing productivity, preserving resources and minimizing greenhouse emissions. Biosphere 2 project in Arizona, United States is in a whole new level. The project is an self functioning ecosystem isolated from the outside world. Here studies and research is done on large scale ecosystems. Similar to the Biosphere 2, indoor ecosystems can be a great idea to design an artistic farmlands that can be able to accommodate plants that thrive across climates.
But why just stick to portable indoor farms?
Like buildings and bridges, farms are an important infrastructure. So, why do societies not actually build farms?- dig out the earth like buildings, make creative designs to enhance air, water and organic waste circulation, and adequate sun lighting.
In the two pictures above, I designed a small scale farm which can also be made mobile using wheels. In the parabolic farms crops grow on the slants which can be controlled using better designed geometry. Water can be distributed from the top which flow in through to the bottom where remaining water is collected. Atop cup-like structures where water flows through, skeletal frameworks can support rocks which support soil for the growth of the plants. The roots of the plants go beneath the rocks to reach for water and dissolved minerals; maintaining the concentrations and pH would be easier. The farm can be covered with plastics or glass structures to control temperature, humidity and other weather conditions. Solar panels can be used to produce energy required to operate the farms. Small scale farms can be made on wheels to make them mobile. And to accommodate cattle farming into the farms would be superb.
With ideas like engineering farms and engineering plants, let’s make agriculture and farming more cooler and exciting and interesting so that youngsters can get interested in farming, learn, develop and share amazing agriculture ideas and promote agriculture.
I watched BBC documentary “Extraordinary Homes” from Mountains, Coast and Forest. I also watched some videos of some awesome tiny homes.
I got inspired and designed a building which could be a home but also any other public or private building. One of the extraordinary homes, featured reusing a retired airplane. I loved the idea and that has been a major component in the design. Similar inspiration has been used to add reusing a retired ship into the design along with container from the famous container home designs. The two photographs above are the design for the building that uses recycled ship and airplane. The central hall is placed in the ship and the ship extends to the top for an extraordinary rooftop space. The airplane wings are used as roof to the ground floor and the body is redesigned as curved staircase or viewing area or performing area or anything cool. Container boxes can also be used for the halls to the sides of the ship. A lot of glass or just large windows without glass can be used for view purposes which is also accessible from the top. Solar can be placed on the roof. Perovskites are super awesome solar technology under development with so many awesome properties: they can be of any color, be printed on any surface and are flexible. Using wheels the building can be mobile but also using float-able materials below the large halls on either side, people can suit the building to cruise experience. Triangles are stiff, triangles are like the mountain, hexagons are superawesome, windows are supercool, designing with consideration to wind, temperature, pressure, sunlight, and blending with the landscape instead of disturbing it are some awesome ideas I learnt from the BBC Extraordinary Homes.
There are a lot of refugees, people affected by disasters and poor people around the world. We can promote manufacture and distribution of tiny homes which would be cheaper. More people can buy their own homes and social organizations can provide better shelter to more people at lower costs. People can also change the location of their home without selling it. More ideas of urban plannings and infrastructure planning can be discussed starting with such ideas. Mobile homes on wheels would be easier to transport and can also serve better as temporary homes. We can also promote solar usage by promoting such homes. However, managing waste and sanitation will be a bigger responsibility.
It would also be an amazing idea to build many small homes together. With some framework on the roof of the houses kept together, there can be community market, play fields, restaurants or just anything cool on the large rooftop field without using extra land. People can also use rooftops as cattle sheds or put mobile farms on the tops. That would be so cool. People can also rent the space to one another or use the whole as community spaces. That would just be a great idea for sub-urban planning.
Designing and producing small homes and farms can promote access to shelter and food to more people. In harsh weathers and disaster affected areas, farms and homes can be transported and millions of people can be helped. A well managed project could be a global phenomenon.