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Floating Mobile Gardens
Rael San Fratello Architects

What better way to introduce invasive species; cluster bomb pollens on nature-deprived asthmatic children and, to the delight of Big Pharma, Claritin-addicted allergy sufferers; and deplete the coffers of post-econopocalypse cities by littering their streets with fallen fruits and leafy detritus for their under budgeted public works department to clean up, than with a floating mobile garden.

Rael San Fratello Architects

As envisioned by Rael San Fratello Architects, these nomadic gardens “would be suspended in the air from large remotely controlled dirigibles. Each inflatable craft would house thousands of smaller plants attached to long vines. A family of dirigibles would migrate within a city, moving towards areas where the heat island effect is greatest, and also migrate seasonally, traveling to southern cities during winter months and northern cities during summer months.”

One wonders if there will be an outbreak of botanical piracy, whereby someone lassos in one of the floating mobile gardens by the tentacles and anchors it right above his house all summer long, its cooling shades cutting down the use of air conditioning, not to mention the electricity bill.

Perhaps urban adventurers will also snag one of these gardens, but only temporarily, long enough for them to explore its feral tendrils and gelatinous parterres. They'll emerge out of their sewers and their abandoned hospitals, and, squinting hard at the fullness of the sun, they'll climb up, up, up, up towards the clouds, the heaviness of their claustrophobic playgrounds giving way to buoyancy and vistas.

Nearby, meanwhile, will be another parked garden crawling with Avatar cosplayers.

Rael San Fratello Architects

Finally, we read that “each plant is attached to an individual propelled device that allows it to be set free from it’s base. Controlled by GPS and GIS information and organized in flocking patterns, plants move through the city in swarms hydrating, providing shade, and bring oxygen to greenless spaces in the urban field.”

Clearly this means that any rogue robo-botanical hacker will be able to stage a vegetal version of The Birds.

  • Anonymous
  • June 9, 2010 at 7:23:00 AM CDT
  • Just like much-vaunted "green roofs" and "green walls" these "floating mobile gardens" will need some research into what kinds of plants can withstand the high winds, elevated UV, and colder temps of life in the air.

    Given what I've seen with terrestrial plant projects promoted by architects, they'll turn the usual deaf ear to suggestions by actual scientists about what works and what doesn't.

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