Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

Jasmine Cook's urban farm proposal grows cauliflower on a tiered step structure. (source: Jasmine Cook 2022)

First year architecture students show food-productive designs

This coming Friday, our Architecture & Design Summer Show starts at the School of Architecture and Design, Mithras House, University of Brighton. It will be open to the public on 18-19 June, from 11am – 5pm.

The show will include work from first year architecture students who have just completed their design module Design, technology and architectural practises. The module required them to design an urban farm on the grade II listed Madeira Terrace in Brighton.

Each student was allocated two arches of the historical Victorian Madeira Terrace archways to work with as their site, which span a length of just under 1000 mm and a  depth of 1000 mm. The terraces are built alongside a cliffside, so the depth increases with the height. Students were allowed to design upwards and outwards, with some restrictions. The brief required them to research and decide upon a main crop to be grown upon their site and encouraged the consideration of companion crops. In order to design their building to accommodate their crops in the most successful manner, they needed to understand their chosen crop’s ideal growing conditions, seasonality, yield, and how growing it could be achieved in a seaside British climate. The students were given the freedom to imagine their own program for the space, some coming up with community garden style projects with others deciding upon farm-to-table restaurants and some choosing to operate solely as an urban farm which would distribute produce in the local area.

The other element required of the design was that the building needed to operate off-grid and be deconstructable. Students had to decide how they would power the building, what waste disposal systems would be in use and what materials and fixtures would allow for later deconstruction.

The brief students were given states that ‘creating space for growing food within our cities is essential to having a sustainable relationship with our planet’. By introducing urban agriculture as a design consideration to young architects from their first year in education, hopefully, there will soon be a generation of architects who are contributing to architecture and urban design with proposals which focus on systems thinking and urban nature.


To book for the private view on Friday 17th or for more information see here.

For information on student Jasmine Cook’s project for this module see here.

Image: Jasmine Cook’s urban farm proposal grows cauliflower on a tiered step structure. (source: Jasmine Cook 2022)

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* architecture* building-integrated agriculture* urban agriculture* urban designBrighton

Jasmine Cook • 13th June 2022

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