KAS - Knowledge on Agriculture and Sustainability
Marieke van den Broek, MSc Landscape Architecture
Bangding, MSc Plant protection & Environmental sciences expert
Marieke de Haas, MSc Spatial planning expert
Adriaan Moerdijk, BSc Landscape Architecture
Jurrian Nannes, MSc International development and global bussiness and sustainability
Ziye, MSc Plantsciences.
Benjamin Smits, BSc Biotechnology with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.
Kyungchun Kim, MSc Food Quality Management/ Nutrition and Dietetics with a focus on indoor farming and entrepreneurship
Ivo ten Have, MSc Health and Society
Boudewijn Klosse, BSc Biotechnology with a focus on food technology and innovation.
Steven Poos, MSc Medical Biotechnology with a passion for circular systems.
Wouter van As, BSc Plant Sciences with a passion for cultivating food on Mars.
An interdisciplinary mix always striving for the best results!
We are a Wageningen based team. Our team is full of spirit and we are motivated to get on top of the game with the Urban Greenhouse Challenge. With our interdisciplinary backgrounds, varying interests and differing perspectives we are exploring the possibilities of Urban Farming in Dongguan. By valueing the individual while having teamwork and team spirit as our basis, we manage to draw upon our individual strengths whilst boosting each other to bring our A-game.
It is a unique opportunity for us to apply our respective expertises to this challenge. The enthousiasm of the investors and stokeholders spark in us the energy to create something new. Something state of the art. It is amazing to work together toward a real goal and to get the opportunity to make a true impact.
China, here we come!
What we want to achieve
We want to apply our theoretical skills into something real. By exploring the role and opportunity of agriculture in the urban environment we get the chance to translate visions of sustainable futures as they are taught at the WUR to a real life case. This experience is very valueable to us. To actually experience the challenge site and visit China is the first milestone we would want to achieve. From there we will move further to propose the best possible proposal for a state of the art urban agricultural hub.
What are the main starting points of our concept?
Before we created our concept, the KAS team had looked into several pressing issues in the Dongguan region which required immediate action. We saw that many people had lost their confidence in locally produced food, while high levels of urbanisation have led to immense changes in the rural-urban dynamic. Agriculture has lost face, especially to the younger generation. While we were trying to come up with solutions, we realized that we needed to create an agricultural transformation, where Knowledge on Agricultural Sustainability is integrated into the production of food. The KAS Greenhouse is setting the tone for food production today, for the world of tomorrow.
What are the main functions of our building?
We embody the agricultural transformation with a building that ensures applicable innovative solutions to resource, energy, and societal issues. By integrating high-quality food production, waste reduction and social engagement, the KAS Greenhouse aspires to embody state of the art urban agriculture in its architecture and organisational structure. Transparency is a leading principle in our farming system, which allows visitors and members to experience our state-of-the-art production systems. More specifically, inside the building, ginseng, strawberries, mushrooms and dragonfruit are cultivated and harvested using lean and innovative techniques. On the basic farmland, a crop rotation system is in place that can be adjusted according to the consumer’s demand, which is determined by a voting system. Complementary to its production function, we strive to inspire and cater toward the needs of the vast amount of rural to urban migrants and the farmers in the region. This is done by providing these groups with education- and employment opportunities, access to a resilient network of knowledge and potential investments. Additionally, the envisioned Culinary Innovation and Experience Centre invites visitors and staff to a first-hand engagement with on-site produce in delicious ways, including fine dining. To complete our mission, to kickstart urban agriculture, and to inspire a new generation, we aim to create a community based on sustainable farming. This is crucial for securing a safe, high quality and trustworthy food supply for many years to come.
What are the unique selling points of our concept?
KAS’ Urban Greenhouse features a high degree of circularity and integrated social, economic and synergies within the building. Firstly, by implementing a state of the art farming system, several innovative and sustainable solutions are proposed to safeguard food security in the urban context.
Secondly, KAS’ sustainable production system is holistically embedded in its social context to let the envisioned agricultural transition take place in a socially responsible manner.
Thirdly, all of these elements are integrated into one architectural design that is immersed in the organic landscape of the area. Natural elements like sun orientation, wind direction, view axes and elevations are taken as a point of departure for the final design. This has resulted in an optimal microclimate in- and around the building to facilitate its multiple uses in the most resource-efficient way. More importantly, it allows for the KAS’ Urban Greenhouse to be a pleasant and inspiring place to be. The combination of economic, social and natural elements add up to the integration of Knowledge on Agricultural Sustainability in an optimal way.