Forward Thinking Architecture, a Spanish design firm, has begun work on a concept that could change the future of food forever.
The Barcelona-based group has imagined a three-story farm that would have the ability to float out in the ocean powered by solar panels. On the upper decks, vegetables and fruits would grow, watered by hydroponic farms and below, harnessing the natural environment, fish farms.
The design firm told Smithsonian.com that each barge was to be roughly 656 by 1,150 feet – which is huge. This initial plan is only the beginning, with each and every barge being able to extend depending on available space. Like a puzzle piece, the individual barges will be able to be fitted together, creating limitless possibilities for growing produce and harnessing energy.
A desalination plant, to convert ocean water to fresh water, will be installed to provide the farms with constant access to water. The barges will also include areas to package products for sale, meaning that the fresh produce will go from ‘farm’ to store without interference.
The surroundings would also be harnessed, with the design to include energy converters that turn environmental forces into useable electricity, giving new meaning to the word ‘greenhouse’.
The architects are envisioning a “fully automated factory” that applies sensor readings to record data and ensure efficiency. They are also predicting an annual yield of 8.1 tonnes of fruit and vegetables and 1.7 tonnes of fish.
Whilst this concept is still in its infancy, the idea that we could sustain ourselves by just harnessing the energy of the sun and water, is an exciting picture of what the future has in store.
The potential is limitless if ideas like this continue to be at the forefront of design.