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An interview with Sine Lindholm, architect and designer of the Growroom.

Tell us a bit about your project and its purpose.

The Growroom is an urban gardening pavilion that we (Husum&Lindholm Architects) designed in collaboration with SPACE10 –IKEA’s Future Living Lab. Our project aims to make local growing of vegetation easy, without taking up a lot of space and at the same time to get people involved in their local communities.

Together with SPACE10 we decided to open source the Growroom, instead of shipping the pavilions around the world, thereby make it possible for anyone anywhere to download the drawings of the pavilion and build it themselves, facilitated by anyone who is interested. The sphere-shaped pavilion doesn’t have a backside which makes it able to stand free in any context available.

Growing locally can be done in many different ways and it doesn’t have to be one dimensional or difficult, and we hope that our design will spark ideas for others to stretch the concept.

What makes local food production an important issue and how do you expect it will look like in the future?

The expanding cities call for sustainable solutions on a smaller scale in local areas. The city is in a constant motion and development and we have to be able to adapt to this development. Because of the lack of space, our growing systems have to be flexible, adaptable and multifunctional.

In the future, common gardens will be well-functioning social elements in urban areas. As people become more aware of what they eat and where it comes from, their demands about the food they consume are higher. By buying locally grown food people strengthen their communities by investing in them.

You decided to make your design an open-source one. What drove this decision? How do we separate the desire to make profit and be generous?

The open-source movement in all its branches is creating a whole new range of possibilities and challenges. Our approach to the idea of a profitable businesses needs to be adapted. Sending the message that a business values everyone’s input and ideas could bring it closer to its target group. By doing this, businesses may find someone on the other side of the world who is holding the solution to the problem they’re trying to solve or it might inspire their next development.

Some advantages of open sourcing a product or any media include the following:

  • Getting your product out on the market fast because it doesn’t have to be totally finished or perfect!
  • Creating an opportunity to get your message out and get mentions and evaluations on multiple channels.
  • Testing your product as the whole world becomes your collaborator in terms of further development.

I like to compare open sourcing to the analogy of planting the same seed in different arenas, and seeing how it grows up differently. Analysing the development and add-ons of the original seed reflects a need in the specific arena.

All solutions and needs are locally based and by using the open-source as a tool for investigation it will be possible to collect information and thereby fine-tune the product.

Our peers are not passive consumers, but active innovative participants, who produce and adapt our shared design, allowing for possibilities and ideas to arise.

Giving up Profits for Social Good: Benefits of Open SourcingPhoto_AlonaVibe-min