In an increasingly dense urban fabric, residents become further disconnected from the origin of food they consume. Urban vertical farms challenge this disconnect, often through challenging design. Emerging architect Scott Johnson has hyperlocalized the vertical farm into a program that supports the tower’s residences with a tiered farm in the core of the building.

The Chicago based concept tower is based on the structure of a sea cucumber. The animal is a part of the Echinoderms family with a spiny exterior skin protecting soft tissues dedicated for digestion and reproduction. The provocatively named project Aberrant Architecture is conceived similarly as a ridged exterior frame supporting the floor plates. An outer section is for a hotel and residential units, making up the bulk of the program of the outer ring. The southern face is reserved to food production and dips to provide exposure for an inner tower which is dedicated for growing crops. Each level is reserved for one of twelve foods, depending on solar exposure and humidity.

The designs principle intent is to explore production and consumption of food within the confine of an urban vertical setting thus eliminating transport. Processing and distribution takes place on premises allowing residences to be immersed in the production of the food they consume. Excess food is sold in retail spaces for the city.

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