Architects Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto of StudioMobile in Treviso, Italy, have created what has been dubbed a "floating agricultural greenhouse" that produces food, almost miraculously, without consuming land, fresh water or energy.
Built with simple technologies and with low cost and recycled materials, the "Jellyfish Barge" has been conceived for communities vulnerable to water and food scarcity. The structure reportedly harvests up to 150 liters of fresh water per day from the seven solar stills arranged along its edge, the design employs a technologically simple hydroponics system—which can also draw 15% of its needs from sea water to ensure greater water efficiency.
Apparently designed to support two families per pod, the structure is made from a wooden base of about 70 sq. m., floating on top of 96 recycled plastic drums screwed in to supporting beams. The octagonal shape of the Jellyfish Barge suggests an element of modularity to the design—square elements joining between pods to form useful communal spaces in larger clusters.
Sam Dunne is a designer, strategist and writer based in London. Sam is founder of design strategy agency Cohere and Contributing Editor at Core77—reporting broadly on design, technology, food and object culture.