On December 5th and 6th, 18 professionals and 9 students joined together for a day and a half design workshop at Columbia University. The friendly competition drew in professionals from Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, Canada, and several US states including Georgia, Texas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, D.C., and Rhode Island to develop concept urban farms for New York City. There were three teams in total, each composed of an architect, hydroponic grower, engineer, marketing professional, entrepreneur, and sustainability manager. In addition to that, three students from Columbia University’s Sustainability Management program took part on each team.
Teams were expected to develop concepts that considered the context of NYC and the opportunities and challenges of urban agriculture there. Four judges joined the workshop at a public presentation of the design concepts: Dr. Dickson Despommier (AVF board member), Kate Clifford, Michael Gould, and Esther Dyson. Judges listened to 15 minutes presentations by the teams and then rated them on their creativity, sustainability, and feasibility.
Judges listened to teams present their concepts and engaged in Q&A
While all of the proposed concepts achieved high scores, the judges voted that Team 2, with their Mott Haven Fresh Farms concept, should win 1st place because they succeeded in delivering a robust business strategy, a positive ecological impact plan, and identified critical stakeholders to execute the concept.
Workshop host Henry Gordon-Smith introduces the final presentations
Read the concept brief of Mott Haven Fresh later in this newsletter, and watch videos of all three presentation below.
Team 1: RockNGrow
Team 2: Mott Haven Fresh
Team 3: GridFarm