Re-Imagining Indoor Gardening Systems: Ceramic Light Fixtures as Food Growing Typologies


In recent years, many Canadians have shown interest in growing their own food at-home as a form of recreational hobby, to address concerns of self-sufficiency, and to encourage greater environmental sustainability. However, individuals living in small urban apartments are less likely to be able to start their own gardens due to distinct barriers such as a lack of time, space and gardening knowledge. This raises the question: How can design interventions enable apartment inhabitants to overcome these barriers and begin the practice of at-home food growing? While many systems for indoor gardening exist today, they face design challenges such as the construction of environmentally harmful materials, the lack of an architectural design language, and limitations on their ability to use aesthetics to create beauty. Innovation in the development of architectural ceramic assemblies provides an opportunity to use these systems to propose new typologies for indoor food growing that remedy the design flaws of existing indoor gardening systems. Therefore, this thesis will design and construct new typologies for indoor gardens using clay 3D printers to create multi-functional ceramic components for food growing. These new typologies are explored through a case study, which develops the indoor gardens as a light fixture. Additional applications for the food growing systems, such as in wall assemblies and cladding systems, are discussed in the research outlook. The key impact of this research is to develop a new aesthetic and architectural quality for indoor residential agriculture. 

The examining committee is as follows:

Supervisor: David Correa
Committee member: Rick Andrighetti
Internal-external reader: Jane Mah Hutton
External: Jonathan Friedman

The defence examination will take place:
Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:00 p.m.
In person, in the Riverside Gallery.
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.