The urban viral farm is a work in process started as a group collaboration project of which I was Project Manager, a role that taught me a lot in the sense of coordinating a team successfully.

The Farm is situated on Regent's Canal, just east of Gloucester Road Bridge. As accordance with most of the rest of Regent's Canal the site is on a level submerged within the urban infrastructure of London Zone 1. This difference in levels provided a threshold from the hustle and bustle of the city into the more tranquil, park like, nature of the canal, in which we chose to work in.

ViewsofRegentscanal from izzy castro on Vimeo.

Through research of public data I found that the area the site was located in was one of the highest crime spots in London. This, along with the fact that it was an entry point location into the canal with high amounts of commuter traffic, and the apparent need for natural rejuvenation of the canal, were some of the main points we chose to pick up on.

Concept Video from izzy castro on Vimeo.

The project consists of three components, a water collecting wheel, a grow pod and a structure which encouraged the growth of the vine plants cultivated within the grow pod.

We chose to use a hydroponic cultivation system, thus making use of the canal as a resource. Due to our distance from any source of electrical power, we devised a system which involves cyclists (of which there are many passing through the site) turning the water collecting wheel which brings water to the grow pod. Within the grow pod there is an overflow system resulting in constant renewal of the water within the growth trays. There is an access ladder which leads to access doors into the grow pod integrated within the exterior structure.

3 from izzy castro on Vimeo.

The form of the project was generated from studies done on viruses and spores, and their cellular composition.

After four weeks of work, we separated the group to take the project on our own individual paths.

I, after extensively researching the concept of Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs), am looked at focusing on the grow pods themselves, and the possibility of extending the grow pods along the canal, creating edible plant cultivation areas.

Apparent benefits of CPULs range from educational to reduction of crime rates, two factors which would be relevant in the area due to the abundance of crime and educational institutions.