Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Introducing.... urbanFARMcart

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September in the Lot (even though I am 527 miles away)

A very extra special deep down thank you, thank you to Rebecca for consistently and tenderly tending the garden in Toronto while I am in Chicago. For watering and watering, inspecting, admiring, sharing, photographing and giving unconditional advice, love and support, my gratitude.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More Prototyping

red 1/8" thick acrylic
laser cutter
heat gun
scrap wood
heavy cotton fabric (thank you Gabriel)
pattern (made from Rhino to Illustrator file and printed out on large format printer)
sewing machine (learned to thread it, thanks to Rana)
thread (20+ year old thread that was my Grandma's)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Rhinoing and Rendering and Rhinoing...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Prototype Cart in the Garden

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Prototyping and Prototyping

may contain:
several feet of 1/2" diameter PVC pipe
copper plumbing hardware
nuts & bolts
hooks & eyes
cotter pins
ceiling tile
parts from another cart
guerilla glue
a little blood
and definitely some tears

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lucious Summer

The onions are tall, the dill is feathery and fragrant, the lavendar is flowering, the sage is full and that beautiful greenish-blue colour, there is enough basil for lots of pesto and the tomato plants seem ready to produce fruit anytime now. It's so fun to watch the garden grow with each rain fall and sunny day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Up the Yangtze

Last night I saw Up the Yangtze, an amazing film about China's Yangtze River. The "biggest engineering endeavour since the Great Wall, China has set out to harness the Yangtze with the world's largest mega-dam," the Three Gorges Dam. The film follows two young people who leave home to work on one of the river's cruise lines, Farewell Cruises, that caters to tourists who want to see the Yangtze before it is completely submerged once the dam is completed in 2010.

We watch as Yu Shui says goodbye to her family and starts a new life as a dishwasher on the cruise ship so that she can help to support her family and hopefully, earn enough money to attend high school. Meanwhile, Yu Shui's parents and younger siblings continue to live off the banks of the river. Their home, a shack surrounded by their small field of corn and other crops, is slowly being flooded by the rising water. This shack is their second home having already been pushed out of their first by the Three Gorges Dam project. Now they must leave again but this time they, like many other farmers from rural villages flooded by the dam, are being relocated to cities where they can no longer raise their own food. For many, the burden of buying food instead of growing it is more than they can afford.

There are many lessons and thoughts that I took away from this film. For one, it gave me another perspective about urban farming and its role in the changing face of China as millions of farmers become city dwellers. Will these farmers be forced to stop growing their own food altogether or will they continue to cultivate in the city as a new generation of Urban Farmers? And if so, what does the Chinese Urban Farm Cart look like?

A link to the film's website,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Arin and Ben's Brooklyn Farm

(image from Arin's blog, "placenta does not belong in your hair,"
that can be read at

I visited my good friend, Arin, last weekend and was introduced to her urban farm, located in her beautiful backyard in Brooklyn. I met Roz, Estelle, and Rhonda, her egg-laying hens. Ben, Arin's husband, made us a delicious fried egg breakfast from eggs that had been collected that morning. I love the smartly designed chicken coop. This is not your grandparents' coop, but instead is a modern, efficient system made by Omlet USA (, a company that has an "award winning range of eglus" for raising chickens and rabbits.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tomatoes Caged

The tomato plants are huge. I got cages for them. There are flowers so hopefully actual tomatoes will follow.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Radish Harvest & They are Delishus!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Design Inspiration - Surf Fishing Carts

I love these surf fishing carts (available at that can carry 200lbs and can be pushed over sand and rocks. There are adapters for pulling the carts with a bike and to attach to a hitch on a vehicle.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


There is no doubt about it. Things are growing!

View of the beautiful post-summer storm sky from the garden lot.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Design Inspiration - Golf Bag Carts

On my way to water the garden, I passed the open door of an architecture office down the hallway from my loft. The cart just inside the door caught my eye (as a result of this project, anything with wheels and at all cart-like makes me stop to look). The two-wheeled, compact cart is used to carry a golf bag which was sitting next to it. So I started looking at other golf carts and was surprised by some of the smart designs I saw (minus the remote controlled, self-propelled motorized ones).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Design Inspiration - Bike Trailers

I've been looking at the designs of bike trailers both those that are manufactured and those that are DIY projects. I'm studying their ruggedness, simplicity, lightweight materials, standardized wheels, construction, hitch systems and practicality.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Urban Farm Cart Part 2

My second stage of the Urban Farm Cart Project led me to focus more on material and form. It was, at this point, that I wanted to go screaming into the night. I felt stuck and started to realize that I really needed to grow some things in order to push the idea and design in the direction that I wanted it to go. I wanted something meaningful, functional and as a result, beautiful because of its logic and intent. I still want these attributes as the foundation of the Urban Farm Cart and this middle stage was the critical, albeit incredibly frustrating part of the process I needed in order to gain important insight on the project.