Our Industrial Design Firm Explores the World of Permaculture Design
The standard industrial design firm spends much time in the studio sketching and designing concepts. But this past week, MAKO Design + Invent, a major partner with Ryerson University, had the pleasure of touring the Ryerson Urban Farm in Toronto.
Urban Permaculture: An Innovative Use of Space
As an industrial design firm, using space efficiently within the office and throughout our designs as always important. Before the Urban Farm, the roof of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre was covered in weeds. Now a quarter-acre market garden, the Ryerson Urban Farm (RUF), located on the Andrew and Valerie Pringle Environmental Green Roof, is a quarter-acre market garden that started from a student-led initiative for fresh campus-grown food in 2011. The farm now produces over 10,000 lbs of produce annually for campus kitchens, farmers’ markets and community agriculture programs. Whether you’re an industrial design firm, or a gardening aficionado, this creative use of space is sure to impress.
The 12-inch soil base of the farm is made possible by layers of rocks, drainage and a dimple board membrane, a common material used in waterproofing residential/commercial foundations. The soil is fertilized with 2 inches of compost each year and is supplemented with seaweed for an extra boost.
The urban farm is able to produce various fruits and vegetables including zucchini, winter squash, fennel, potatoes and much more!
Freshly Grown Produce
A diverse 6-person team including university students and a visiting intern from France manage the urban market garden. The farm grows anything from garlic, beets, onions, chives, raspberries, corn, arugula, dill, and many more!
MAKO Design was treated to a rooftop happy hour during our visit to the Ryerson Urban Farm.
As an innovative industrial design firm, MAKO supports permaculture design and sustainable building & design in taking a step forward in the urban agriculture movement. We hope to see more institutions consider and implement urban permaculture in the future!
Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent
MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.
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