ernesto lopez

ernesto lopez

Tempe, AZ, US



Feedscapes | Tempe, Arizona
Arizona State University | Spring, 2012 Thesis project
Professor: Catherine Spellman

The Rio Salado “Feedscapes” will try to reconnect the consumer and the food they eat. It encourages you to learn about food by introducing the production of food into our daily lives, reconnecting food values with the consumer. The strategies of these architectural surfaces that act as feedscapes are made possible by creating different ecosystems that are; architectonic, and agricultural. These feedscapes will produce, perform, and give knowledge and spatial qualities to its visitors.

The project site is situated between the city of Tempe and Scottsdale Arizona. Feedscapes is located in the northeast corner of Rio Salado Parkway and Priest Drive and extends all the way to the river bed of the Rio Salado River. The 16-acre park serves as a new type of fish farming, typical farming, and a new type of public amenity.

Feedscapes not only uses aqua-farming and hydroponics to teach you about this technology and how you can create your own hydroponics system in your own backyard but it also includes a wide range of activities that teach you about food and reconnect you with what you eat. Nowadays, people don’t see the importance of going to a market and buying food, people get in their cars, go to their closest grocery store, buy what they think they need and go back home. Is not like it used to be 100 years ago, going to the market was seen as the most valuable and enjoyable thing to do. The market was more than a place to buy food but a place to socialize, meet people and a place full of entertainment. Feedscapes is trying to reconnect the consumer and the food they eat.

Feedscapes consists of a series of hydroponic walls that get water from the Rio Salado River that feeds the plants, the plants then filter the water and feeds the fish with their nutrients serving as food for the fish. The fish then produces the fertilizer that is later fed back to the plants on a symbiotic process. The fish and the produce then get processed in the facility allowing the visitors to experience the entire fish and plant’s life cycle. This facility will include a farmer’s market, fish market, kitchen/restaurant, processing/offices, storage and a research lab that will study new species of fish that could potentially be raised in Arizona, and will also research different methods of fish farming.

Once arriving to feedscapes, the visitor choses what boardwalk/micro climate to walk through. The visitor will experience different species of fish and plants within each boardwalk. There are three different boardwalks; all include architectural surfaces that are either architectonic, agricultural or both (archicultural). These surfaces will include hydroponic systems and will also house fish tanks. Feedscapes will not only produce, but perform; it will change throughout different seasons, encouraging its visitors to come back for a different season with different fish or plants, allowing fish and vegetable production to stay high year round. It will also give knowledge to its visitors, teaching them about the values of our food and the technologies in which these foods are being produced. Most important of all; feedscapse will give spatial qualities to its visitors. The park is all about bringing people to socialize, exercise, relax, eat, and learn.

Upon your visit to feedscapes, make sure you ask for the VIP Pass. It is a system where you can grow your own fish or vegetable plants in the park and keep track of its weight, height, and size like the digital game Tamagotchi or Farmville. It is an application for your smartphone, where your virtual pet/fish can become a reality, keep track of it from home, and you can stop by the park to pick it up when is ready to eat.

This project has been awarded with the Design Excellence Award in Arizona State University.

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Status: School Project
Location: Tempe, AZ, US
My Role: student designer