Yielding Architecture: A Manifesto for [Urban + Agri]Culture
Williams, Isaac S
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The contemporary, monoculture-based agricultural model is failing, as evidenced by worldwide food shortages, environmental degradation, and mono-diets. Grassroots efforts to reanimate neglected urban space with food production foretell an impending farming revolution. Additionally, 20th century economic changes have left many American cities devoid of the industry around which they were founded, leaving behind vast swaths of uninhabited and often polluted sites. This thesis imagines reclaiming these post-industrial landscapes with institutional infrastructures constructed to support the burgeoning urban agriculture revolution. Recasting what and how urban farming can yield will provide a new vision for both architecture and agriculture. A conceptual agenda that reinterprets yield as both value and potential suggests a high-performance architecture that exhibits the efficiency and sustainability found in natural systems. It also demands an evolutionary architecture that establishes a framework for potential forms, events, and output by yielding to external circumstances and inevitable future change.