A pair of architects has designed a small-space solution to growing.
Al Aire, a living installation piece by Spanish artists and designers José Selgás and Lucía Cano, is showing an “up in the air” sort of approach when it comes to growing.
The pair is exhibiting at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, exploring technology and nature with their combination architectural and biological lab. Through their hybrid demonstration, they’re hoping to “redefine our inbred preconceptions on what is natural and develop new ways of gaining back terrain for nature.”
The inspiration for the project came from NASA’s study of the effects of weightlessness on seeds. Seeing the way moss growths spiraled in all directions inspired the artists to explore what plants can do, given the opportunity to grow.
“With these prototypes that we propose in the Al Aire laboratory, we are trying to re-use existing technology and to provide new spaces, artificial ones, for the growth of Nature,” says the pair in their artist statement.
As we look for more ways to feed the world’s growing population, Cano and Selgás are looking at architecture to open up new possibilities for food production. The newly designed containers are made to grow with less soil, allowing Nature to return in spaces once not thought possible.
“… It is a question of trying something which, starting from what is very recognizable and alive, succeeds in changing our thinking somewhat in order to provide other ways of looking at everything that surrounds us,” write the artists.
The suspended planters are made up of a system of irrigated Air Pots covered in perforation to allow air circulation and sunlight. The plants are fed hydroponically and don’t need pruning thanks to the air pruning technique. Air pruning occurs naturally when roots are exposed to the air. Rather than dealing with constricting pots and containers, these plants’ roots are effectively “burned off,” prompting the plant to constantly produce new, healthy roots that don’t get cramped in a container.
To learn more about the exhibit, visit www.labiennale.org. To learn more about the designers, visit www.selgascano.net.