Biodiversity, particularly in the world’s equatorial regions, is under threat from human industry. Among the most daunting problems facing these biomes is that of the food industry’s continual expansion into what was once rainforest. Expansive monoculture (large cultivated swaths of a single crop species) are the primary threat to tropical biodiversity. This method of agriculture is harmful because it requires the clearing of land that once supported thousands of species in order to replace it with rows of a single crop. If more plants could be grown in a smaller horizontal square footage, farms need not rely so heavily on the clearing of undisturbed land. The objective of this project is to create a novel vertical housing unit for a model crop species, garden strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa), utilizing biomimetic principles in order to maximize plant growth while minimizing horizontal expansion. The creation of the vertical garden design involved analysis into recent applications of biomimicry in agriculture, particularly those employed in highly developed urban areas. After reviewing sources related to biomimesis and vertical garden projects, a 3D model was constructed utilizing CAD software. Design elements from Grant Associates’ biomimetic Supertrees were modified to incorporate hanging planters for stolon-producing strawberries. An aluminum chassis based on the 3D model was welded together, and finally, bare-root strawberries were placed within the tower.
Semester/Year of Award
Valerie E. Peters
Mentor Department Affiliation
Mentor Professional Affiliation
Dr. Valerie Peters, Department of Biology, Eastern Kentucky University
Open Access Thesis
Riddell, Earl M., "Emulating Evolutionary Principles For Agriculture: Designing a Biomimetic Vertical Garden by Mimicking Tracheophyte Evolution" (2023). Honors Theses. 992.