Team Bagua

Our team

We are an interdisciplinary and global team of energetic and motivated students, one from each continent of our planet, and all aiming to restore the balance between humanity and nature.

Rachel Wilbertz (Germany)
- Bachelor degree in International Business & Management
- Has worked on innovation & transformation projects for consultancies & banks (e.g. KPMG, Commerzbank)
- Mainly interested in the social & innovation research parts of this competition

Alejandro Rueda Gómez (Colombia)
- Bachelor in Business Management
- Has worked with the public and private sectors. An entrepreneur with experience in project marketing. Finance advisor for a construction company.
- Mainly interested in the Adaptation of tropical climates to varying climates. Development of food production in Controlled Environments

Olivia Manzart (Australia)
- Background in health, nutrition, and community development.

Sofie De Brabander (Belgium)
- Master in Business Engineering: Operations Management
- Internship in data analysis at Delaware consultant
- Mainly interested in innovations in sustainability

Sara Samir (Egypt)
- Bachelor degree in Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University
- Has worked on architectural, urban and environmental design projects in the real-life and many international competitions
- Mainly interested in the architectural and sustainable parts of this competition

Abdelrahman Mohie (Egypt)
- Bachelor degree in Architecture
- MSc student, in Urban Design and Community development, Cairo University
- Teaching assistant at Ahram Canadian University, and Cairo University.
- Design Architect
- Has participated in more than 12 international and national workshops and competitions
- Interested in new technologies that develop communities, make it more productive.

Maria Alejandra Monroy (Colombia)
- Just got graduated from a master's in Furniture Design in Elisava and right now is working in an Interior Design Studio in Barcelona.
- She has always worked on the design and conceptual team and her experience is mainly in contract spaces as hotels, restaurants, and medical institutions.
- She decided to join the challenge because she wanted to explore new ideas that can innovate in order to help communities and the planet. Also, she wanted to have contact with people from all over the world and learn more about the approach different people have on these matters.

Nicole Rodas (Ecuador)
- Environmental engineering and currently studying a master's in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic, and Social Sustainability in UAB (Spain).
- Has worked in environmental consultancy and as teacher.
- Really excited to learn more and to put in practice all the knowledge acquired.

Gabriel Malaquin (France)
Ruijie Shi (China)

Our strengths

- Interdisciplinary
- Students of Master in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability (ecological economics, political ecology, degrowth, industrial ecology, life cycle assessments, circular economy)
- Diverse (members from Europe, Australia and Latin America)
- Highly motivated
- Concerned about climate change mitigation and adaptation
- Supported by ICTA-UAB, leader in sustainability research, sustainable cities and buildings
- Integration of architecture energy flows with vertical farming

Our drive

With climate change and global change becoming significantly important, urban farming offers an innovative way to address one of the large carbon emissions sectors, agriculture, while offering a viable adaptation system for food production.

Through studying sustainability we are looking forward to applying our interdisciplinary approach and knowledge into practice through urban farming.

What we want to achieve

Through innovation, we want to create a project that is sustainable, feasible and has low energy demands through the integration of the architecture and the inner system.

What are the main starting points of our concept?

The core of our concept, philosophy, and design is Taoism, the Dao, “the way” – a way forward into the future in which we have to embrace the change and the flow of nature. For this, we have to be flexible, adaptable, and we have to go with the Dao. With it, we aim to bridge the gap between humanity and nature, between different types of people and between our food consumption and production. The connection of those contradictory aspects creates a balance – just like the yin and yang.

What are the main functions of our building?

The Bagua building is both a food hub and an educational hub: a stacked semi-closed greenhouse which, on the one hand, makes use of the local conditions using the latest technologies -like the Sky Green Towers and the Plant Factory with Artificial Lighting systems (PFAL)- to produce fresh and healthy food. Bagua also aims to be an inclusive place for everybody. Spaces are dedicated to enabling a range of activities targeted to foster social cohesion and knowledge exchange. Both the food production and the social activities will be encompassed in a design that aims to achieve maximum circularity by taking advantage of the abundant sunlight and rain present in Dongguan, thus creating synergies and flows of resources between the activities and crops.

What are the unique selling points of our concept?

Bagua is an education, production, and research hub with a long-term vision. It offers opportunities to many people to change their lives for the better whilst at the same time working on global challenges. The Bagua believes that if we aim to achieve the great food transformation and produce healthy and sustainable food, we need to educate our next generation of farmers and entrepreneurs. Therefore, Bagua’s vision is as follows:
The Bagua envisions to become an inclusive and tolerant hub for fun, knowledge exchange, education provisioning, and further research on agriculture to tackle current and future food challenges in balance with nature and society.

Artist impressions of the facade and the building



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Team info

Olivia Manzart
Alejandro Rueda Gómez
Rachel Wilbertz
Sofie De Brabander
Ruijie Shi
Nicole Rodas
Maria Alejandra Monroy
Sara Samir
Gabriel Malaquin
Abdelrahman Mohie