Project name: City Farm Festival N.5
Funder/Sponsor: Sustainable Agriculture Foundation Thailand
Project type: Booth design & construction; Exhibition design & construction; urban farming; sustainability
Thai City Farm is a long term program run by the Sustainable Agriculture Foundation Thailand since April 2010, and funded by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. Thai City Farm works on food security for urban dwellers, related both to health and a safe environment. They promote chemical free farming in cities and build awareness on the role of urban farming as a viable alternative for urban people. The process itself encourages stronger social relations between people and their environment, and can hopefully promote change at the city planning and policy level. In the context of this work, Thai City Farm runs a yearly festival to bring together organic producers and consumers.
Designing City Farm N.5
In 2019, Openspace had the opportunity to design and build City Farm’s 5th Festival; this included spaces for farmers to sell their products and an exhibition space. As a core design concept, we wanted to match the idea of food security and the work Thai City Farm has been doing. Where food is concerned, the focus is on knowing where your food comes from, and growing your own food is a key process.
We applied this to our design and construction: we tried to keep the festival design as natural as possible by using the least artificial materials possible; and we designed structures that can easily be reused in the future. We carefully chose chemical free materials, such as bamboo, mostly unbleached fabrics, and plant-based rope, with 90% of all materials being reusable and plant-based. We reused materials from older exhibitions, which can also be reused in the future. More importantly, to keep in line with our “natural product” vision, we opted to take on the construction ourselves, rather than hire a constructor.
The exhibition at City Farm N.5
The exhibition showcased urban farming examples from around the world, split between five regions: Europe, North America, Oceania, Asia and Thailand. We spread them in five zones around the farm and the booths, allowing visitors to interact with the farm as much as the booths.
We also built bamboo chairs near different spots of the exhibition, organised around “conceptual tables”: bamboo growing pots. The theme of the festival was land sharing, so the “tables” illustrate this concept: when you sit around the table, you share that table; replacing it with earth and vegetable patches illustrates land sharing.
The festival welcomed 14 booths for urban farmers and the city farm network. The booths are currently being reused for a food security event by the Biodiversity Sustainable Agriculture Food Sovereignty Action Thailand.