By Mikaila Kukurudza
What started out as conference with no more than 50 guests discussing innovative ideas about urban agriculture has evolved into an international exhibition that tours the globe. The exhibition, called Carrot City, is currently in its fifth year and has been featured in 25 venues on three continents.
“It cultivated here and just blossomed all over the world … it’s wonderful,” said Sebastian Lubczynski, Carrot City’s first research assistant and Ryerson architecture masters student.
Carrot City is a travelling exhibition curated by Ryerson professors Mark Gorgolewski, June Komisar and Joe Nasr. The professors collaborate with designers, prepare exhibit boards and create content with the goal to make sustainable living possible through design.
The idea began back in 2008 when a number of students were working on agriculture projects for a summit in the Ryerson architecture department. Inspired by this, the professors published a book called Carrot City: Creating a Place for Urban Agriculture.
Nasr said that Ryerson students played a major role in the exhibition’s development and success.
“Carrot City could not have existed without Ryerson students and this is continuing to be the case,” Nasr said.
The exhibition is categorized into four sections: city, community, home and work, and products. These sections help visitors understand how to incorporate urban agriculture into every aspect of their lives.
“[This information] is being taught in the class, it’s being done on campus, it’s being pushed through the professors to grow in your backyard and to understand urban agriculture,” Lubczynski said.
With the upcoming exhibit scheduled in Switzerland, Carrot City contributors continue to be surprised by the expanding interest in how design makes urban agriculture possible. This interest reflects the social movement towards sustainability.
“We never expected Carrot City to be an ongoing project after five years, so the idea of it continuing another 5 years, while unlikely, is not impossible,” Nasr said.