Window Farms by Britta Riley (interview with Maya Nayak) / Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 2009-10-23 / SML
Maya Nayak talks to See-ming Lee about how Window Farms (Flickr) work during the Eyebeam Open Studios in Fall 2009, a biennial events showcasing artists who explore art using traditional medium as well as technology.
Window Farms (Flickr) are vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials.
The Beach The Pier
Goal 1: to start a Windowfarming craze in New York City and other dense urban areas, helping people grow some of their food year-round in their apartment windows.
Goal 2: give ordinary folks a means to collaborate on research and development at our.windowfarms.org
In February 2009, through a residency at Eyebeam, Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray began to build and test the first Window Farms prototype. Growing food inside NY apartments is a challenge, but within reach. The foundational knowledge base is emerging through working with agricultural, architectural and other specialists, collecting sensor data, and reinterpreting hydroponics research conducted by NASA scientists and marijuana farmers. We have been researching and developing hydroponic designs that are inexpensive and made from relatively inexpensive materials. The working prototype is a drip system made from recycled water bottles, holding 25 plants. Beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, arugula, basil, lettuce and kale are thriving.
While completing the first Prototype in mid-April, we invited a dozen "Pioneers" to join us in creating Window Farms. We asked them to approach the project like a night class, devoting one night a week for two months. We showed them our prototype and presented the DIY research and development we did so far and invited them to build on our research to create their own designs. Currently, the Pioneers are designing their systems. Their innovative ideas are adding to the knowledgebase about DIY hydroponics.
Eyebeam Open Studios: Fall 2009
Eyebeam is pleased to host Open Studios for its 2009 Senior Fellows, Resident Artists, and Student Residents at Eyebeam’s state-of-the-art design, research, and fabrication studio; showcasing video performance, wearable technologies, code and humor, party technology, and sustainablity design.
Eyebeam is the leading not-for-profit art and technology center in the United States.
Founded in 1996 and incorporated in 1997, Eyebeam was conceived as a non-profit art and technology center dedicated to exposing broad and diverse audiences to new technologies and media arts, while simultaneously establishing and demonstrating new media as a significant genre of cultural production.
Since then, Eyebeam has supported more than 130 fellowships and residencies for artists and creative technologists; we've run an active education program for youth, artists' professional development and community outreach; and have mounted an extensive series of public programs, over recent years approximately 4 exhibitions and 40 workshops, performances and events annually.
Today, Eyebeam offers residencies and fellowships for artists and technologists working in a wide range of media. At any given time, there are up to 20 resident artists and fellows onsite at Eyebeam's 15,000-square foot Chelsea offices and Labs, developing new projects and creating work for open dissemination through online, primarily open-source, publication as well as a robust calendar of public programming that includes free exhibitions, lectures and panels, participatory workshops, live performances and educational series.