LOCATION // Green Rose Heritage Park. Cambridge, USA.
CLIENT // Fab Foundation
YEAR // 2015
STATUS // Ongoing
PROGRAM // Public Art
FUNCTION // Smart Agriculture Sculpture
BREATHE is a civic design-build project based on showcasing and educating citizens on technology and ecology, whereby the intersection with urban growth in Cambridge is a renewed focus on local agricultural production. The project was conceived to physically embody this growth through its modular structure, growing and sensing systems that can adapt to any environment. It is a piece of micro-urban infrastructure to facilitate and incubate how citizen-led smart agricultural installations can inspire and catalyze private and public ‘farming’ of the neighbourhood.
A custom built web dashboard allows adjacent residents to the productive sculpture monitor the measures of the sensors remotely and also determine lighting scenarios. Scenarios can be localised to the region of the sensor and to the whole structure simultaneously, facilitating a participatory curation of the lighting narrative between plant health and its custodial farmers. The dashboard not only allows an interaction between scenarios, but also customize sensors and manage automation of watering and fertilization. The structure and its ecological components grow and evolve through the participation of its adjacent residents cum custodial farmers.
The team worked with the Fab Foundation to align holistically the projects development and execution with its mission “to provide access to the tools, the knowledge and the financial means to educate, innovate and invent using technology and digital fabrication to allow anyone to make (almost) anything, and thereby creating opportunities to improve lives and livelihoods around the world.” The design showcases a democratizing of digital fabrication-assembly principles where CNC machined joinery only requires a rubber mallet to press-fit structural elements together. Allowing the form to reflect the actual construction participation of end users, adapting the modular structural logic for design-build in situ. All fabrication and project development for this installation was produced in the Fab Foundations Mobile Fab Lab, transforming an adjacent public space into an open community workshop.
James Brazil | Fabio Lopez | Brian McGregor | Miguel Pardo | Frederik De Smedt | Juan Esteban Vallejo | Nicholas Waissbluth