Shenkar

Creative designs for growth-based sustainable urban innovation.

The ReplAnish Studio collaboration is a joint field-project between Vertical Field and Shenkar College’s Department of Interior Design, Structure, and Environment. The project seeks to build a strong base for empirical research and field application by capitalizing on both the rich academic knowledge and creativity from Shenkar (led by Osnat Tadmor and Shahar Abelson) and the professionalism, expertise, and technology of Vertical Field.

The goal of the project and partnership is to experiment with creative and practical designs for sustainable urban innovation using Vertical Field’s active living wall as a foundation. As part of the partnership, a living green wall was built at the College campus main building.

The Challenge:

Integrating Nature-Based Solutions into Our City Spaces

As a result of population growth and urbanization, city spaces are often inhospitable to the natural world. As the climate crisis introduces new challenges both to the global population and to the natural world, we are encouraged to ask: how can we integrate more nature and future-forward sustainable urban planning into our cityspaces- whether private or public, indoor and outdoor?

The Solution:

Creative designs for growth-based sustainable urban innovation

By integrating innovation, technology, and nature-based solutions that support environmental sustainability into the urban sphere, urban planners, architects, and others can develop spaces in a way that increases biodiversity, minimizes environmental damage, and mitigates climate change. Vertical Field’s active living wall is one such example; however within that framework exist numerous additional innovations that can increase sustainability. This partnership uses expert mentors and design students to explore the myriad of opportunities to design sustainably using Vertical Field’s active living wall as a springboard.

“The opportunity to transform a theoretical project into a practically and technically-feasible design is what made this partnership so meaningful. The support and guidance I received from Vertical Field’s founder Guy Barness and numerous others was invaluable- they had all the answers and real-world experience to guide me properly. Their partnership inevitably helped my project get chosen for the ACT Shenkar Accelerator. Anyone who properly taps into Vertical Field’s unique expertise will be afforded the ability to create real innovative and game-changing inventions”

– Lilach, creator of the In-Vent project, which is currently being developed in Shenkar’s ICT accelerator

Results:

Encouraging Practical Solution-Based Innovation

  • In June 2020, 17 different design projects were submitted, each one addressing a different design that integrates sustainable planning into the urban sphere. Alongside expert advisors from Vertical Field executives such as Founder Guy Bar Ness, Vice President of Commercial Urban Landscaping Meggie Abacasis, and Research Manager, Hila Bar, students designed intricate and applicable innovations. As a result of the partnership, two innovations are continuing to develop outside of the academic context. The In-Vent project, which is a plant-based ventilation and air purification system, was accepted into the ACT Shenkar accelerator program to be further developed and gain investor funding.  The Urban RetreEts project, which revitalizes dense and polluted city spaces into lush gardens, won the Rosen Sustainability Award of 2020.

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