Living Concrete/Carrot City Urban Agriculture Exhibit Opens at The New School
Last Thursday, September 30, Parsons the New School for Design unveiled the innovative Living Concrete-Carrot City at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, a unique exhibit that explores the possibilities and achievements of urban agriculture. The exhibit consists of two parts: Living Concrete, a collection of research and design projects from students and faculty of The New School, and Carrot City, a traveling exhibition about the role of design in urban food systems that was conceived at Ryerson University in Toronto.
The focus of Living Concrete is New York City. Some displays are dedicated to the achievements of farms and community gardens across the five boroughs, while others discuss the city's potential for the evolution of urban farming. An array of multimedia installations, from interactive maps, models, websites, videos, and sound bytes explore the food initiatives in the city and their impact on local communities. A highlight of the exhibit is an extensive piece on the Corbin Hill Road Farm, an innovative approach to a farm share that gives access to fresh farm produce to low income residents of Hunts Point in the Bronx. Another exhibit with roots in New York is the accomplished Farming Concrete, which features an interactive map that tracks how much food is grown in community gardens across the city.
Through the duration of Living Concrete, which will run through December 15, the installations will continue to evolve and change as the exhibit welcomes interaction and input from visitors and students. Nevin Cohen, the co-curator and Chair of the Department of Environment Studies at the New School, envisioned the exhibition as a platform for public discussion and civic engagement. In that spirit, he welcomes the use of the space for teaching purposes and will use it as a classroom while his students work on an intensive research project to map out New York City's food system.
Public events and weekly lectures will accompany the ongoing exhibit, which is free to the public and open daily from 12-6pm (Thursdays until 8pm). The space will feature weekly panel discussions with experts in agriculture, education, and civic engagement, which will aim to raise discussion about the various issues surrounding urban agriculture. As a sample, this Wednesday, October 6, the panel will include leading agriculture leaders such as Karen Washington, president of the NYC Community Garden Coalition, and Dennis Derrick of Corbin Hill Farm. View the full list of upcoming panels here.
The launch of the exhibit also welcomed the announcement of the newly founded Farm School NYC, a training program developed by Just Food that will teach all aspects of urban agriculture to New York City residents and will begin this January.