Team Bagua

Our team

Rachel Wilbertz
- From 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
- From Colombia
- Bachelor in Business Management
- Has worked with public and private sector. Entrepreneur with experience on project marketing. Finance advisor for construction company.
- Mainly interested in Adaptation of tropical climates to varying climates. Development of food production in Controlled Environments

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

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

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?

With the design of the urban greenhouse, the goal is to honor ancient Chinese philosophies while including modern innovation. The name of the building is Bagua, which refers to the identically named symbol used in Taoist philosophy. Consequently, the urban greenhouse will be designed according to the Taoist philosophy and will include and connect the different aspects of the Bagua. The center of the Bagua, a yin yang, symbolizes the balance that needs to be found. According to Taoist philosophy, in this world all things exist with their inseparable opposite. Therefore, the design of the building as well as its functions will aim to combine different opposites and try to enable an undisturbed flow between them. This will be represented in the greenhouse in different ways. First, there cannot be innovation without there being tradition and vice versa. Both concepts flow into one another; eventually innovation will become tradition, making place for new tradition in an endless circle. Centuries-old and new farming techniques will be combined. Second, nature and mankind go hand-in-hand. The building’s design strives to find this balance. Bagua aims to meet the growing demands of locally produced food by producing nutritious food in a sustainable way. Beyond food production the goal of Bagua is to build strong, connected and healthy communities. Bagua will strengthen and bring back Chinese traditional agriculture into the urban environment through connecting the local community to where their food comes from.

What are the main functions of our building?

First of all, Bague is intended to provide fresh, healthy and nutritious food to the city dwellers and tourists. There will be the possibility to enjoy the freshly produced food at the 0km restaurant and tea house. The food and produce will also be sold in the onsite market, to local restaurants and companies in Dongguan and delivered at home. Secondly, there will be a health center in which both traditional Chinese medicine (traditional Chinese herbs and teas grown in the greenhouse) and healthy activities will be offered to address health issues in the local community. Activities will focus on both physical and mental health, for example yoga, relaxation sessions and horticultural therapy. Thirdly, Bagua will contribute to building healthy communities by providing educational workshops to visitors, surrounding companies and universities. The workshops will focus on nutrition, cooking, gardening, composting and farming. The farm will also provide multi-functional spaces to be rented out for local businesses, art and music projects. Community cohesion will be improved through these different activities organized and the presence of community spaces and a community garden. Finally, Bagua will be a place to unwind and enjoy the surroundings, be connected to nature as well as to fellow visitors.

What are the unique selling points of our concept?

Bagua will be unique in its environment. Inspired by Taoism, the greenhouse is multi-functional, flexible and adaptive to meet changing community and crop production needs. The food will excel because of its freshness, nutritional richness and low environmental impact. The food can be collected (and consumed) at Bagua as well as received at home with a simple click. However, the building is more than about food alone - a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle is focused upon as a whole. The inclusion of a health center where the farm grown traditional Chinese medicinal herbs are sold is unique and brings a value added product. On top of that, circularity determines all aspects of the greenhouse through maximising natural resources such as solar irradiation, rain and waste byproducts from the central agricultural park.
Further, visiting the Bagua will be an experience in itself. The unique architecture, the innovative techniques used for the food production, the nice and green environment and the range of diverse offers targeting different societal groups are reason enough to come visit the building and enjoy a meal in the restaurant.

Artist impressions of the facade and the building


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Team Bagua


Team info

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