Edible Infrastructures is an investigation into a mode of urbanism which considers food as an integral part of a city’s metabolic infrastructure. Working with algorithms as design tools, we explore the generative potential of such a system to create an urban ecology that: provides for its residents via local, multi-scalar, distributed food production, reconnects the traditional waste-nutrient cycle, and de-couple food costs from fossil fuels by limiting transport from source to table.
Hierarchical components for the Productive City are generated via a series of generative and analytic algorithms, each building on the output of the last.
Our research is conducted through the building up of a sequence of algorithms, beginning with a Settlement Simulation, which couples consumers to productive surface area within a cellular automata type computational model. Through topological analysis and interpretation of the simulation output, we explore the hierarchical components for a new Productive City, including: the structure and programming of the urban circulatory network, an emergent urban morphology based around productive urban blocks, and opportunities for new architectural typologies.
The resulting prototypical Productive City questions the underlying mechanisms that shape modern urban space and demonstrates the architectural potential of mathematical modelling and simulation in addressing complex urban spatial and programmatic challenges.