Designer Tom Dixon has teamed up with IKEA once again—this time to rethink the future of urban farming. Ahead of their global product launch in 2021, the two design titans are set to unveil new urban farming prototypes in Gardening Will Save the World, an experimental garden exhibition at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.
From May 21 to May 25, Tom Dixon and IKEA will explore how technology and affordable design can help urban dwellers grow food locally and sustainably, while reducing food waste.
"As part of the Chelsea Flower Show, we have designed and realized an experimental model for growing plants in the urban environment," says Tom Dixon. "Aiming to give back to cities and create productive landscapes within urban zones, the garden includes a raised modular landscape with edible and medicinal plants and an enclosed garden fueled by hydroponic systems and controllable lighting."
Gardening Will Save the World will feature two levels. A horticultural laboratory exhibiting technology (such as hydroponics) for growing "hyper-natural" edibles will be located on the first floor. Above, a raised garden will offer an immersive canopy-like ecosystem of trees, flowers, and plants selected for their medicinal, health, and environmental benefits. Over 4,000 plants will be installed in the showcase garden.
At the end of the Chelsea Flower Show, Gardening Will Save the World will be donated to Participatory City and relocated to East London, where it will stay for at least three years to support urban farming projects. Parts of the garden will also be recreated at The Warehouse, London’s largest public makerspace, to inspire and enable the public to grow food locally.
"For IKEA, this project is about bringing attention to the future of the environment and the importance of growing food locally," says James Futcher, Creative Leader at IKEA Range and Supply. "We want to create smart solutions to encourage people and make it easier to grow plants themselves anywhere they can, whether that’s in their community garden, rooftop, or in containers on balconies and window sills."
The collaboration with Tom Dixon builds on IKEA’s expanding urban agriculture line, which includes the Krydda/Växer collection of hydroponic indoor gardening kits.
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