; Designer Tom Dixon and IKEA collaborate to innovate horticultural practices of the future

Design

Tom Dixon creates a two-tiered farm, in collaboration with IKEA, by employing innovative futuristic horticultural practices

JUL 4, 2019 | By Aneesha Bhadri
British designer Tom Dixon fashions a two-tiered farm in collaboration with IKEA for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019
The lower level serves as a horticultural laboratory, while above lies a lush, verdant space for visitors to sit back and relax.

For the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, British designer Tom Dixon donned his gardening gloves and collaborated with IKEA to fashion a two-tiered farm where one can grow their own food. The idea was to propagate sustainable practices and healthy eating habits in modern lifestyles. The renowned creative applied his design skills to the issue of food growth and consumption within urban communities. “Our project explores the dichotomy of the hyper-natural and hyper-technological to encourage a dynamic approach to gardening. The ground level of the green patch is a horticultural laboratory, while the second level is a lush, verdant space where one can sit back and relax. It is a dialogue between traditional planting methods and futuristic ways of horticulture,” says Dixon.

 

 

 

 

The garden consists of crates alongside a raised platform. The nature of the system lends itself to the Square Foot Gardening method, which is designed to maximise the yield available in a small area. It is inspired by the low maintenance Forest Gardening technique based on woodland ecosystems. This gardening methodology translates into limited spaces such as a balcony, making it ideal for city dwellers. By contrast, the base layer uses hydroponic technology to grow a diverse array of edible plants. The technology allows users to grow them indoors under controlled environments throughout the year. Tom Dixon’s headquarters in King’s Cross has a dedicated space called The Factory, which has been transformed into a temporary growing lab, using one of the hydroponic units from the exhibition garden. Along with IKEA, he plans to further explore sustainable, affordable and modern solutions that bring food farming closer to home.