This vertical farming system was designed to build up community and accommodate the urban lifestyle!

Urban farming takes different shapes in different cities. Some cities can accommodate thriving backyard gardens for produce, some take to hydroponics for growing plants, and then some might keep their gardens on rooftops. In Malmö, small-scale farming initiatives are growing in size and Jacob Alm Andersson has designed his own vertical farming system called Nivå, directly inspired by his community and the local narratives of Malmö’s urban farmers.

Through interviews, Andersson learned that most farmers in Malmö began farming after feeling inspired by their neighbors, who also grew their own produce. Noticing the cyclical nature of community farming, Andersson set out to create a more focused space where that cyclical inspiration could flourish and where younger generations could learn about city farming along with the importance of sustainability.

Speaking more to this, Andersson notes, “People need to feel able and motivated to grow food. A communal solution where neighbors can share ideas, inspire and help one another is one way to introduce spaces that will create long-lasting motivation to grow food.”

Since most cities have limited space available, Andersson had to get creative in designing his small-scale urban farming system in Malmö. He found that for an urban farm to be successful in Malmö, the design had to be adaptable and operable on a vertical plane– it all came down to the build of Nivå.

Inspired by the local architecture of Malmö, Andersson constructed each system by stacking steel beams together to create shelves and then reinforced those with wooden beams, providing plenty of stability. Deciding against the use of screws, Nivå’s deep, heat-treated pine planters latch onto the steel beams using a hook and latch method. Ultimately, Nivå’s final form is a type of urban farming workstation, even including a center workbench ideal for activities like chopping produce or pruning crops.

Designer: Jacob Alm Andersson

Following interviews with local residents, Andersson set out to create a farming system that works for the city’s green-thumb community.

Taking inspiration from community gardens and the local residents’ needs, Andersson found communal inspiration in Malmö.

Backyard and patio gardens are popular options for those living in cities who’d still like to have their very own gardening space.

Noticing the cyclical nature of community farms, Andersson knew that would be the crux of his design.

Following multiple ideations, Nivå ultimately assumes the form of a farming workstation.

Deep, voluminous soil pots provide plenty of room for growth and the high shelves allow vertical growing methods to persist.

Circling back to the community’s initial narrative, Nivå is a farming workstation solution that allows communities’ residents to farm together.