Location: Urban centers, China
Project: Open Greens
Status: Prototyping
Awards: Swissnex Entrepreneur Award


China's population is urbanizing at an unprecedented rate, putting strain on cities to provide a good quality of life for their residents. Municipalities across the country have accommodated this enormous influx of migrants by constructing vast districts of high-rise housing blocks. Apartments are often cramped, and offer residents no personal green space. Access to safe and quality food is almost impossible, as farms have had to expand and industrialize in order to feed new urban populations. Producing and distributing vegetables to urban centers is an environmental challenge. Many industrial agents used in agriculture are toxic for consumers and the ecosystem. Packaging is wasteful and the delivery process pollutes. By the time vegetables have traveled from farm to plate they have often lost freshness and quality.

Open Greens is a unique home-owned food growing system which occupies the sides of windows like shutters, pushing the limits of what it means to have a personal garden in the city. The mechanism will give inhabitants access to fresh and healthy greens from their apartment.

We offer an affordable way to reduce reliance on conventional food channels by transforming blank building facades into productive agricultural space. Modular planters, hung from sliding mounts, can be rolled back and forth into the window cavity, allowing residents to conveniently harvest greens from their kitchen. Our product takes up no interior space and utilizes natural sunlight. It also doubles as a retractable green screen, filtering air and providing sun shading. Residents select what to grow and can easily replenish the planters with seeds and soil. We aim to inspire urban citizens to reconnect with nature and reflect on how to transform city spaces into productive, interactive and ecological landscapes.


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