New Farming Typologies

[bracket] | Mason White | Maya Przybylski

Published in "Bracket 1 [on Farming]", 2010


Farming emerges less as a conscious practice than a collective behavior across mediums. Agriculture, but also information, energy, and labor can be farmed.

Farming harnesses the efficiency of collectivity and community. Whether cultivating land, harvesting resources, extracting energy or delegating labor, farming reveals the interdependencies of our globalized world. Simultaneously, farming represents the local gesture, the productive landscape, and the alternative economy. The processes of farming are mutable, parametric, and efficient.

From terraforming to food sheds to crowdsourcing, farming often involves the management of the natural mediated by the technologic. Farming, beyond its most common agricultural understanding is the modification of infrastructure, urbanisms, architectures, and landscapes toward a privileging of production.

With a global food crisis looming, even the traditional farm’s impact on land, resources, and economics is in need of re-visioning. Innovations have led to a growing number of people investing in shares of a local farmer’s crop, reducing trips to the supermarket and the cost of shipping food. Energy farming has seen immense diversification in the last decade with essential innovations in renewable energies such as wave farms, wind, tidal, solar, among others. Investment in wind power alone rose from an $8 billion per year plateau from 2002-2004 to more than $18 billion annually on average for 2008-2010, with most of the growth in North America and Asia. Information farming has also experienced considerable rise in the last 5 years and, in fact, could be architecture’s newest building typology, the “data campus.” Google completed a 30-acre server farm in Oregon on converted agricultural land in 2006. The town of Quincy, Washington has seen Yahoo, Microsoft, and Intuit establish large Internet data-processing facilities.

Fish farms, server farms, energy farms, information farms, Wikipedia, Twitter; our contemporary daily life owes so much to the resourceful, convenient intelligence of farming. How is it shaping or how could it shape our design environments? How are these developments shaping our larger environment? And what are new potentials for these typologies?

Extract from
Related publications:
Bracket 2 [goes Soft]
Bracket 3 [at Extremes]