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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

PF. 1

I have a book to recommend, Above the Pavement - The Farm!. I have to admit I have a personal connection here, I was interviewed about this project and some of that interview is included in this book. Interviews of the key players in this project tell the story of PF. 1 a combination of art, architecture and urban agriculture which was a temporary installation at PS 1 - MOMA in Queens, NY in Summer 2008. It is a stretch to call this community gardening but the architects and others involved in the project invoked community gardens as inspiration for their work.

Each year PS 1 holds a competition for young architects to design an installation for their courtyard space which serves as the venue for Summer Warmups - Saturday afternoon cocktail parties. The architecture firm proposed an elevated urban farm, including chickens and my connection to the project - a Rainwater Harvesting system. Everything was solar powered including the water pumps, a cell phone charging station, fans, video and audio. Oh, and the structure was built from cardboard tubes called Sonotubes and used a lightweight soil mixture called Gaia Soil. Plants were grown at Rikers Island prison and at Queens Farm Museum a 47 acre working farm within New York City limits.
The story of how PF 1 developed from an idea to reality is interesting reading, part drama, with many heros and lucky breaks for the team. For anyone who is curious about how art, architecture and farming come together in a beautiful, functional creation, this is the book for you. And you have the added pleasure of reading quotes from me - much like you are doing right now.

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